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Treat grandparents well always

POSTED: September 13, 2010 10:01 a.m.
Sunday, grandparents everywhere were given the seat of honor. Many of them will tell you without hesitation they deserve it.
This country has many special days on which we recognize various events and people. Regardless of age, people enjoy having their day. National Grandparents Day is a secular holiday that is celebrated in America on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year, it falls on Sept. 12. The holiday is becoming more popular as people live longer and take on greater roles as grandparents.
Grandparents even have their own song. In 2004, the National Grandparents Days Council in Chula Vista, Calif., designated Johnny Prill’s “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa” as the official song of the National Grandparents Day. The day’s official flower is the forget-me-not.
In recent decades, the role of grandparents has changed significantly. Many grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Long gone are the days when grandchildren came to visit for the weekend, the afternoon or the summer.
When living arrangements are involved, grandparents typically are classified into three categories. There are the custodial grandparents who have legal custody of the grandchildren. Then there are “living with” grandparents. In these cases, children live with their grandparents, although the grandparents do not have legal custody of the child. Last, there are the “day care” grandparents who help their children by acting as primary caregivers for grandchildren during the day when mothers and fathers are at work.
Stereotypical images of grandmas and grandpas no longer exist. It’s not very common to find plump, little old ladies fixing big meals in the kitchen or older gentleman puttering around the yard.
Grandmothers have become sophisticated. They e-mail, text message and call their grandchildren using cell phones. Some even have Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. Society’s notion of the “ideal” grandparents has shifted.
Grandparents are doing more with their young grandchildren. They take them to soccer, football, baseball and basketball practices and games. They baby-sit and pick them up from school or bus stops.
Most children love to spend time with grandparents, who often aren’t as tough on the little ones as their own parents. Children know they can talk grandparents into the buying things and letting them do things parents may not usually allow them to do or have.
On National Grandparents Day, don’t forget your grandparents. Do something extra special for them now and throughout the year. Don’t forget to call them, send e-mails and drop by for periodic visits. Grandparents have a lot to offer. Their love, wisdom and experience can help shape young lives and make society a better place.
People who no longer have grandparents can still enjoy today. Many senior citizens are alone. Check with churches, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes and community centers. Many seniors in such places would enjoy having company. You can help brighten their lives.
Every day should be Grandparents Day simply because they deserve it, and it is up to you to make it happen.
 

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