August 25, 2019
By Butch Meriwether
National Grandparents Day gives grandchildren throughout the world the opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their grandparents. This special day each year has been set aside to make children become aware of the strength, information and guidance seniors can offer and, in the U.S., it falls on September 8, 2019, the first Sunday after Labor Day. Even though it is not actually designated a national holiday, National Grandparents Day does honor grandparents, gives them an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and helps children understand the importance of what older people can offer. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on this day of recognition; all the grandparents care about is spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Today, many families celebrate National Grandparents Day with family outings, picnics, the sharing of family stories, and/or just looking at old family photographs or home movies. The celebrations do not have to be elaborate. They can include sitting under a shade tree talking about the family’s history, playing board games, card games and putting together puzzles or other fun low-key amusements. Most importantly, ensure your grandparents are involved in the planning stages. Ask them what they would like to do or ask them to show you one of their favorite hobbies. No matter what, the best Grandparents Day activity involves you and your grandparents together, celebrating your family and each other.
Nowadays, National Grandparents Day has taken on a much bigger meaning because many grandparents have the responsibility of guiding their grandchildren’s lives. It is conservatively estimated that more than 13 million youngsters in the U.S. are being raised by their grandparents. Although many people believe it is never the best situation, some grandparents find the necessity to raise their grandchildren because the parents of those children are not in a position to do. There are numerous reasons grandparents take over the role of raising their grandchildren. It can be because of financial circumstances, because of unsafe circumstances in the parent’s home, drug abuse by the parents, the parents may be incarcerated or that a single parent is serving abroad in the military. Whatever the case may be, more grandparents than ever before are stepping up to the plate and assuming the role of mentor and provider for grandchildren.
Grandparents raising their children’s children can be the best of a difficult situation. Having grandparents raise their grandchildren is much more preferable in most instances of putting children into foster care or temporary placements. Some grandparents have even taken extreme measures to adopt their grandchildren in order to keep them together instead of having them split up in foster care homes. No matter if a grandparent is raising one or more of their children’s children, everyone must take the time to acknowledge and recognize their accomplishments and contributions they have had or are having on a young child. If their grandparents are no longer living, people should take time to visit one of the many senior centers and rest homes in Mohave County to talk with seniors who no longer have any relatives to talk with. A little kindness goes a long way and there are many seniors who would love
to sit and tell stories about the past experiences.