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The author writes a reflective post about the changing equations of 'grandparents' in the society.
The author writes a reflective post about the changing equations of ‘grandparents’ in the society.
I was getting ready after an hour of refreshing swimming and got into the conversation with a lady who was probably in her late sixties. She was wearing a sad grey colored suit and was apparently unhappy, looking after her granddaughters. She was almost dragging herself to complete the chores.
I could only feel sorry for her. I think she was a lonely widow. But, the swimming pool is an area where you encounter many people. The next one was a lady in a happy mustard collared suit who was taking a keen interest in her granddaughter. She was enthusiastic and excited to see the progress of her granddaughter. As I got into a conversation with her, I was in awe for the strength she had. She had a grandchild who was physically challenged and had lost a 26-year old son to cancer. The source of her happiness was clearly the healthy relationship between grandmom and the grandchild as well as rest of the family!
I believe happiness has a lot to do with the strength of relationships in life. But, without deviating much let me come to the point and discuss as to why the grandparents have changed?
As I meet more and more ladies in their sixties, I observe more than often that they think that they have fulfilled their responsibilities and it is now time to rest.
I have been trying to analyze the reason for this attitude and trying to get into the depth of this thought process. I think few of the reasons may be:
Firstly, the elders in the present generation do not see themselves in the pivotal role as played by their mother in laws or mom. She has to tread a path defined by the younger generation. This makes her feel that she is oppressed by the generation senior to them and by the one younger to them. This feels like an oppressive situation for the ladies/people of this generation of baby boomers( 1946-64).
The second issue seems to be her reluctance for the time which may be needed to look after the child. They are hardly ready to switch off the TV or be away from the what’s app messages to look after the kid or play with him or maybe read a story to the child. The grandparents are probably incentivized to take any pain for the family. This leads to destruction of the family values.
The third reason may be the attitude of the daughter/daughter-in-law. The method of bringing up may not be a common platform. Naturally, there will be tension in the family rather than an open healthy discussion.
The Gen Y is generally ‘Google’ dominated whereas the age-old wisdom is probably not heeded. This irritates the elderly. I personally believe that one should depend on solid research but, sometimes age-old wisdom may be a good idea.
What is the solution? I think a healthy and open discussion to bring the complete family on the same platform may be the solution. But, this is easily said than done with so many egos clashing.
Well, girls, the healthy and happy environment is essential for your child as well as your life. If nothing works send your child to the daycare center and minimize the exposure to these confrontations and negativit
What do you say? Suggestions are welcome!
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
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