In praise of grandparents

I cannot imagine my childhood without my (paternal) grandparents. If it was my grandfather who made us read aloud while he corrected the pronunciation, gave us dictation, tried to teach us a language that was not part of the standard school curricula,  made us write ten sentence essays everyday and corrected them, help us maintain scrap books, teach us Sanskrit poems and prayers, and help resolve disputes between us siblings, it was my grandmother who taught us all the mythology, home remedies, folk wisdom, and sense of fair play. Of course, we also had the benefit of long distance (mere 40 kms, though we visited them only twice or thrice a year) grandparenting from our maternal grandparents.One charm of RKN‘s books for me is his portrayal of grandmothers–be it his autobiographical Grandmother’s tale or his novels like Swami and his friends–with which I could completely identify.

Now, Anne Holden at Inkling has a post about the origin of grandmas; via Seed. The piece has some very interesting information:

For thousands of years grandmothers helped with child care, domestic chores, even food gathering. In fact, anthropologists have argued that the effect of grandmotherly care on child survival was so potent that it shaped some of our most basic biology: menopause, cognitive decline, even longevity itself.

Take a look!

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7 Responses to “In praise of grandparents”

  1. Dorothy Says:

    Thank you for validating the 20 years I have spent with my daughter and our seven grandchildren. They range from age 26 to four. Today, I left work to see my youngest, Noah step out of preschool. The smile on his face as he saw his parents and I watch him entertain with his friends was worth more than money can buy.
    I have done the domestic chores, including endless laundry, I love to cook however, in Sherry’s case I was always too tired after all the cleaning, babysitting, etc. to cook, so we ordered takeout, or in rare cases ventured to the closest restaurant for one good meal.This by the way, while I worked, and continue to work full time. And now I’ve started my blog grammology.com as I have, like this blog so much to share.

    This is wonderful and I have bookmarked this to read on a regular basis. I hope my blog is as interesting as yours..

    Regards, and good luck…grammy age 61 in July….

  2. Grammology - The Self-Help Blog Says:

    My response in praise of grandparents

    It is so refreshing to know others love and respect grandparents as I do.  I still wonder if I can impart some of my wisedom to my grandchildren, or if they love me so much they instictively patronize.  Whichever it is, I believe subconsciencously so…

  3. Guru Says:

    Dear Dorothy,

    Thanks a lot for dropping by, and sharing your experiences. As far child rearing, it is interesting to see how other species cope with the burden–in some bird species, for example, when the mother gets children, it is the elder sons who are forced to help the mother; in fact, the father will actively stop the sons from setting up their own nests! All this is explained in this rather nice article (pdf) (and in this book too, called Survival Strategies by Raghavendra Gagagkar). I look forward to seeing you here often, and I will bookmark your blog too!

  4. Deep Says:

    Guru, if I remember correct, Dawkins discussed similar things in the context of parent-offspring conflict in the Selfish Gene; he talks about some
    work done by Robert Trivers.

  5. Dorothy Says:

    Guru, Thank you from my heart for allowing me to comment on your site. Just recently it was brought to my attention that you has been responsible for many of the new links grammology recieved. You must realize I am not the same level of academics as you, however, I sensed you felt we shared a similar spirit and faith in life. My 60 years as a mother and grandmother, yours amazing in education, along with a brilliant mind.

    I’m so pleased I stumbled upon your site, and had the courage to leave a message. Thank you for accepting me to your world, I marvel at what you know and the ease to which you are able to express science. I hope you will check in from time to time to watch me progress, as I learn about this wonderful thing….the web. Regards, and thanks, Dorothy known as grammy..

  6. Guru Says:

    Dear Dorothy,

    Thanks for your comments and nice words; it was a pleasure for me too to have known you and your blog, which, by the way I do read regularly.

    As you note, the web is indeed a wonderful place, where we all can learn things from each other through this process of blogging and commenting.

    Guru

  7. Some must-read stuff! « Entertaining Research Says:

    […] few months back, I wrote a post titled In praise of grandparents; the post lead to some interesting discussions, where, I also wrote about how birds cope with child […]

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