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Grand parents are part of the care network

By Ozo Mordi
09 April 2016   |   12:33 am
“I felt disappointment, even saddened, I would say. Recently, a child of about three years of age played with me. She made funny faces while I did the same.


“I felt disappointment, even saddened, I would say. Recently, a child of about three years of age played with me. She made funny faces while I did the same. She was bored and had tears in her eyes as she had been crying. With our little game, she perked up and laughed. All of a sudden, however, the mother tried to stop her without success. Then she threw the magic word, “Granny”, and tapped the child’s hand warningly. At the word, the child recoiled as if hit.

“I was surprised but I saw that talking to the mother would be a waste of time.”

“But can a grandmother be so terrible that she invokes fear in her child’s daughter? That is new to me and I am still trying to figure out what that granny has done or perhaps not done for the child? I knew that on the day in question, they had just brought the child home from where the old woman had been taking care of her almost from birth. I am still trying to understand what happened”, says this grandmother.

I am wondering, too, because although we hear of grandmothers who maltreat their grandchildren, but the most we know are grandparents who pamper theirs to the point of spoiling them. Nobody can take care of your child better than you do, we know and also admit that it is normal to worry that your aging parents may not bring them up to your satisfaction. But you need their help no matter how little they can give, if you have enjoyed their care and love, chances are that your children will love them, too. And I think you are lucky if you have your parents around and should include them in your life. Just this past week, I heard a youthful mother who everybody calls Mummy on phone jubilating: “I am now a great grand mother”.

And for the rest of the day, I heard as she counted her blessing, “I am a mother, grandmother, now a great- grand mother.”

From her example, I would say that I understand the issue the younger generation may have with the older people. Sometimes ago, the son’s wife stayed some time with her. She came with a month-old baby and her two-year-old son. The little boy wanted attention, too, I felt sometimes when I listened to him crying but the granny put her foot down. I knew the mother was not happy about it.

It is, therefore, natural not to agree with your parents on certain aspects of raising your child.

Discipline is one conflict. You look back at the way they punished you for ‘small’ offences and you would not want your child to be so treated.

You would not do it their way at all. But you lose nothing by listening to their idea. Now you feel lost about how to handle your son’s behaviour? Who is there to talk to so openly but your mother or a mother-in-law? Their out-dated ideas may not be appealing but you will feel better and see a way out of the problem.

Involve Them Early

In the past, parents left children in grandparents’ care to pursue the means to a better life. It is still a common practice today. Only last December, I listened as youthful grand-mum encouraged her daughter’s friend who had just got a visa to travel and leave her son behind. “We are the ones taking care of Alison’s Ben”.

Involve them as early you become pregnant. Ask of them only what you know is possible for them to do and make them know that you value them.

Remember that granny can help with your baby when it is difficult to get help. And Granny’s care of your child should be better than the one given by a help.