Feb 6, 2017

Grandparents: support network or parental substitute?

Is wonder in observing the changes that have involved our society in last years. The stability objectives have become utopian velleity. Still remember your childhood? As children, the days were marked by play and study with the supervision of our parents. On Sundays or holidays we went by our grandparents, the darlings of the children, with silver hair and the spirit of a little child. Not often we could see them, but we adored them. It’s essential to weave a loving relationship with the parents of our parents. Then, they were retired, uncertain element for the new generations, and had time and serenity to spend with grandchildren.
Grandparents and grandchildren Silvana Calabrese
Following the social mechanism is changed, the past has become a nuanced memory as a dream vision that fades away slowly. Inebriated by the idea that progress was the key to achieve a living standards equal or higher than that of our parents; deluded by the expectation that the world itself has triggered in all of us, we obeyed to the system with the secret hope to realize the unrealized dreams. We enrolled at the university, rather, we have invested in the education achieving medium–high levels. The immediate consequence concerned the personal ambitions of success that result by the active and stable insertion in the working world. The desire to make a career emerged almost immediately. Women’s employment has been more suffered the effects of social frictions, however were recorded vital signs. But this has caused further problems related to conciliation of roles assumed by the woman worker, housewife, wife and mother. Sometimes the challenges are unisex and look after the children, no longer conceived at a young age, it’s a serious challenge. In this emergency situation intervene the network of family support for excellence: the support provided by grandparents. Similar to the handyman they provide a free service, wide–ranging and flexible with the undisputed advantage of the trust relationship. They are available to look after their grandchildren, allowing to the married couple to overcome the assumption of a baby–sitter and save money for their children’s future. By the observation of the current reality I perceive a feeble alarm: grandparents are omnipresent in their grandchildren’s life to the point that they no longer constitutes a mere support, but a parental surrogate, the free from educational tool that only a father and a mother may be using. There’s a subversion from the past, now children spent Sunday with their parents, who are losing the best years of their children. 
Source: “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno”, an italian newspaper, October 14, 2013, p. 16. 

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