I don’t know if many people will agree to this but we Filipinos are known for having close-knit family ties, wherever we might be located in the world.

We cherish our relationships with the members of our family, and love spending time together — eating, chatting, laughing, even singing together (even if we sound off-key)! One of the relationships that I personally treasure is the one I have with my own parents — and, in effect, the relationship my kids have with them.

You see, growing up, I wasn’t able to spend much time with my own grandparents. My parents, like many Filipinos I know — were what we call “OFWs” or overseas Filipino workers. They worked for the Brunei government for many years, thankfully, my siblings and I were allowed to join them.

Because of our situation though, we would only see our relatives, including our grandparents, during the times when we would go home to the Philippines. So I didn’t really get to have many bonding moments with them, unlike my cousins (and my older siblings, who went home to the Philippines for further studies).

Fast forward to the present time. My grandparents on both sides have already passed away (and oh, how I miss them). I am also a mother now, with kids of my own, who absolutely love being with their grandparents!

In fact, they are thrilled every time they are allowed to sleepover at my parents’ place, and I am happy about it too. They get to build lasting bonds with their lolo (grandfather) and lola (grandmother), plus play with their cousins, because my brother and his family live with my parents.

It’s a win-win situation actually, my kids and my parents get to strengthen their relationships with one another, and this mama gets some “time off” (though now, with the newest addition to our family, it’s not really “time off,” if you get what I mean!).

I know not many families are as blessed as mine is — to have grandparents around who are always there to help out with the grandkids, and this post isn’t meant to make anyone feel bad. It’s primarily to emphasize the value of the grandparents in our lives… and I guess, indirectly, the value of the elderly in general. The generations before us — those who are wiser and know better.

On a personal level, this one actually goes out to my kids’ grandparents, especially my parents. You see, our family has been having our share of trials lately, especially after our youngest was born, and my mom and dad have been our strongest allies, supporters and prayer warriors. Honestly, I don’t know how we could have “survived” the past few months without them!

So yes, if you’re reading this, and your parents (your kids’ grandparents) are still with you, I encourage you to find ways, even simple ones, to tell them how much you value them. Even if it’s difficult to do so. Even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t wait till the last minute — till someone is on their deathbed — to speak of love, forgiveness and gratitude. Realize the value of grandparents, and help your kids do so, too. It could possibly be one of the greatest lessons you’ll teach them.

How is the relationship of your children with their grandparents?

Picture Credit: Author

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (Philippines)

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a wife and homeschool mom by vocation, a licensed physical therapist by education and currently the managing editor of Mustard, a Catholic children's magazine published by Shepherd's Voice Publications in the Philippines, by profession. She has been writing passionately since her primary school years in Brunei, and contributes regularly to several Philippine and foreign-based online and print publications. She also does sideline editing and scriptwriting jobs, when she has the time. Find out more about Tina through her personal blogs: Truly Rich Mom and Teacher Mama Tina.

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