Let’s put grandparents first this Christmas

Three grandchildren with their grandfather, reading a book.

Disclosure: this is a paid collaboration with RCI Bank.

Christmas is fast approaching and, as usual, we’ll be enjoying the big day with my parents. We spend a lot of time with them throughout the year and always look forward to seeing them.

I know that this is true of so many families beyond my own. They do so much for us, so it’s high time we put grandparents first for once.

I’m lucky to have a fantastic relationship with them and that, of course, extends to my kids. We regularly visit for Sunday lunch and sometimes go on walks together too. Including the all-important one before lunch on Boxing Day!

A grandmother and her grandchildren.

Unsung heroes

It’s so important for children to enjoy quality time with their grandparents and also to recognise the roles they play. Because, as far as I’m concerned, they’re often unsung heroes.

Speaking of which, research from RCI Bank into the support and relationship with their families shows:

Just under a quarter (23%) of grandchildren describe them as a lifeline. I think this is rather low, given how much my generation depends on their parents.

Of those who acknowledged how much older members of the family do, 27% said grandparents provide moral support, 19% emotional support and 11% financial support.

This definitely rings true with us. My parents do so much for the kids – and us – all year round and we’d be absolutely lost without them.

A grandfather with two grandchildren.

Best supporting role

Like 51% of respondents, my parents often give the kids extra pocket money. They’ve helped us out financially more than once too and, naturally, this has been of great benefit to the children.

They also buy them clothes and have a knack of choosing the best birthday presents.

It’s not just financial support though. They regularly attend memorable occasions like school plays and sporting events – they’ve got that in common with 45%.

It seems that grandparents aren’t as widely appreciated as they should be though. While just over half see their grandchildren at least once a month, around a third wish they got to spend more time with them.

This certainly isn’t true of my parents and kids – we see my folks pretty much every week! They’ve been around for the kids since day one. In fact, they drove us to the hospital for all three births so were the first people other than us to meet them.

Going back to the stat about grandparents wanting more time with grandchildren and, although half spend at least Christmas dinner with their family, 23% don’t get any time with them and 16% wish they had more time together.

I’m genuinely saddened by the last couple of stats there. My parents mean so much to us that I’d hate to think of either statement ever applying to them. And I’m going to make sure it never does.

A grandmother with a grandchild.

Put grandparents first

Christmas provides a brilliant opportunity to get together with the people who matter and we’re all really looking forward to all our usual family traditions.

From the pre-dinner anchovy palmiers – which my sister once rebranded as “cat yawns” – to the keenly fought battle to be the last person wearing their Christmas cracker hat.

The kids are already well versed in all of these little festive quirks. I think this says a lot about the high regard they hold my parents in. I know the feeling is mutual.

So we’ll be showing my folks how much they mean to us this Christmas. It’s high time we put grandparents first.

Well, apart from the cracker hat game. Watch out, Mum, I’m determined to make up for last year’s controversial defeat…


  1. Eli Farrell

    Very nice post, I absolutely agree that families should make the most memories with their grandparents this Christmas.

  2. Prajjidna Daliman

    I’m a daddy now with a 1-year-old son and he’s really happy playing with his grandfather.
    I never have a chance to meet my grandfather because he died when I still in my mom’s.
    It must be nice to have a grandfather and because of that, I totally spend my time with my son when I’m home.

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