Qualities Which Cause Grandparents to Be Considered Saints

Updated on November 18, 2018
MsDora profile image

Grandparent, added to MsDora's profile of teacher and counselor after she became a senior citizen, gives her a new interest to explore.

While grandchildren may not be interested in canonization, some regard their grandparents with utmost respect. They summarize their feelings with statements like “My grandmother is a saint,” or “I have a saint for a grandfather.”

Photo by Patrick Garrington
Photo by Patrick Garrington | Source

In recent years, grandparents are establishing even more saintly profiles. According to a 2010 study reported by Amy Goyer in AARP Magazine, grandparents have replaced parents as heads of household for 4.9 million American children under age 18, and the numbers increase every year.

There is also the The Granny Nanny Phenomenon in which grandparents become live-in nannies to help raise the grandchildren and cut the cost of living for both parents and grandparents. In such multigenerational households, grandparents have endless opportunity to enjoy and influence the grandchildren.

Here are some observations which may cause a grandparent to be considered a saint.

Age and Wisdom

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you're just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. - Pam Brown

Grandparents tend to receive more reverence from the grandchildren than from their own children. The grandchildren see them as old and (if rightly influenced by the parents) deserving of respect. Grandparents are accepted as honorable and wise. They are expected to know the answers to all the questions and to be fair in their judgments.

Grandparents in their twenties and thirties may have to work at establishing their profiles of age and wisdom; but still, the grandchildren admire them for having authority over their (the grandchildren's) parents.

Acceptance and Love

They [grandparents] give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies. - Rudolph Giuliani

Photo by Wendell Weithers
Photo by Wendell Weithers | Source

It seems that grandparents carry inside them tanks that are always full of love. Their eyes light up and their arms extend whenever they see the grandchildren. They forget and forgive the misdeeds of the youngsters. What grandchild does not remember a term of endearment or a prophetic title that came regularly from a grandparent’s lips?

As for accepting love, grandparents border on fanaticism. A toddler’s first attempt to say grandma comes up in every conversation for a week; a preschooler’s drawing of grandma and grandpa gets the prime spot in the family room. Almost every word and gesture are evidence of the grandchild’s love, and this kind of acceptance makes the grandchild feel worthy.

Often grandparents dispense love, patience and kindness where parents dispense discipline. They personify love for the grandchildren.

Mediation

The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy. - Sam Levenson

Teenage grandchildren pray for the grandparents to see them through the years under their parents’ jurisdiction. They need trusting grandparents to help them relate how they got into trouble and to convince the unreasonable (their opinion) parents that their apology is sincere. They need understanding grandparents to help the insensitive (their opinion) parents see that their restrictions are too harsh. They foresee a difficult life without grandparents who are the mediators between youth just wanting to enjoy life and parents who see danger around every corner.

When wise grandparents get involved, they are able to present positive perspectives which soften the parents. Whenever the grandparent creates an effective strategy for compromise, the grandchildren know for sure that grandparents have saintly abilities.

Empowerment

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. - Alex Haley

Photo by Mariana Gamboa
Photo by Mariana Gamboa | Source

Grandparents empower the grandchildren with their commitment to support their goals and efforts. They promote joy and confidence in the hearts of the young dreamers. What sacrifice the grandparents make to show up at ball games, recitals, graduations and weddings! The grandchildren feel honored when what they do is important enough to merit the approval and participation of the grandparents.

Much of my paternal grandmother’s support was financial from infancy through my high school years. I remember her saying, “It doesn’t matter what I do not have; whatever you need, I’ll try my best to get it for you.” Those to me, are words of a saint.

My mother and I lived with her mother who was the single most influential person in my life. My maternal grandmother was the person I most wanted to be like. The highest compliment I have ever received is from those who say that my words or deeds remind them of my grandmother's wisdom.

I was blessed to have two saints for grandmothers.

Success

What a wonderful contribution our grandmothers and grandfathers can make if they will share some of the rich experiences and their testimonies with their children and grandchildren. - Vaughn J. Featherstone

In most households, some parents are still struggling to achieve their goals, and the children see in their struggle the difficulties of adulthood. They watch the parents shuffle bill payments while exerting great effort to keep the family functional. They would be encouraged to see how the struggle pays off.

Meanwhile the older grandparents are the proof that life is worth the struggle. They tell stories of how they persevered until life became more manageable. They point to structures they helped to build, the laws they helped to change, the trophies they won. Because of the grandparents’ stories of overcoming, the children understand that there is reward for their parents’ labors, and will eventually be for theirs.

Grandparents are indeed saints who beckon the grandchildren to follow their footsteps to add pride, joy and satisfaction to the family portrait.

What's Special About Your Grandparent?

What have you specially enjoyed from a grandparent or grandparent figure?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Dora Weithers

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      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        2 years ago from The Caribbean

        Debraw, thanks for sharing the story of your grandmother. You were blessed to have her in your life. Best to you and your twin baby girls, going forward.

      • Debraw50 profile image

        Debraw50 

        2 years ago

        Hello Ms. Dora,. I love this, very well written. Is the way I thought of my Grandma. She was a wonderful woman with a kind and caring heart. Everyone loved her. She read her Bible everyday and walked the good path. She always took the time for me out of a busy day. She taught me how to pray and how to treat others. To treat them good and kind. I loved my Grandma so much, and remember everything she taught me. I am trying to be just like her. I am the proud Grandma of twin baby girls. Thank you Ms. Dora for much beautiful reading. God bless you.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        4 years ago from The Caribbean

        Patty, love your attitude. Enjoying the present brings us more benefit than grieving about the past. The best ot you and your grandchildren going forward.

      • pattyfloren profile image

        Patty Florence 

        4 years ago from Illinois

        Ms. Dora, My grandparents died when I was a teenager. Sometimes when I read stories about grandparenting, I often heard myself say that grandma should have been here. But one has to trust God to show the way. I am truly blessed to be able to share with my grandchildren. Isn't life grand?

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Scarlett, your are truly blessed to have the presence of your grandmother with you. Treat her like choice treasure, because she is. Take care!

      • Scarlett Rain profile image

        Scarlett Rain 

        5 years ago from Bakersfield

        This is wonderful, I live with my grandma and she is absolutely amazing. I want to be just like her (:

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Malonge, thanks for your comment. So good to see here.

      • malonge profile image

        malonge 

        5 years ago from Western New York On Hubpages

        A wonderful article about those special special grandparents and the effect they can have on the little ones.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Rajan, I bet you'll be a good grandpa. Between that and your healthy eating, you'll also remain young.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        I'd like to be a good grandparent to my grandchildren when the opportunity presents. Becoming a grandparent is a revisit to the baby years of one's children and all about being young again.

        Voted up.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks PaisleeGal. Hope I can find your series. I'm interested in the stories.

      • PaisleeGal profile image

        Pat Materna 

        5 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

        Dora... a great story. You have summed up in a few words the many faceted roles of Grands!. I've done a series here on HP about my own grandparents and how important they were in my life as well as my many cousins. It wasn't until I became a Gramma myself did I really reflect on my own grands. Thanks for the hub. Voted up!

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        Congrats Ms Dora

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Denise, thank you sharing. Really, the love of grandparents is irreplaceable. Glad you have those memories.

      • denise.w.anderson profile image

        Denise W Anderson 

        5 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

        I remember how I felt when my grandmother passed away, how there would be a terrible hole in my life where previously there had been love and acceptance. When my grandfather came to live with us after her death, it gave me an opportunity to spend time with him I would not have had otherwise. Those memories are priceless!

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, Frank. What a kind compliment! Bless you, too.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        5 years ago from Shelton

        MsDora your hubs are soft and gentle to the eyes.. just like grandparents.. I could read your hubs all day... bless you

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Tonette, I believe like you do that playing with the grands keep the gramps young. Grandparents truly love like no one else. Thanks for your input.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        DDE, your turn will come. Then you'll really see what a pleasure it is.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Lambservant, your grandchildren haven't said "saint" yet, but it seems to me that they will. Mine was born at the end of May and I am looking forward to meeting him. He is in the US and I'm still in the Caribbean, but we skype once a week. I love the little guy, dearly already.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Jynzly, congratulations on being a grandmother of five! Glad your parents gave you an idea of what grandparents are like. Continue to be grateful and joyful for your five precious gifts.

      • Tonipet profile image

        Tonette Fornillos 

        5 years ago from The City of Generals

        Very sweet hub, MsDora. Truly, grandparents empower the grandchildren in ways only saints could. I believe it's because unconditional love is every grandparent's everlasting selfless duty -- it's love and FULL of it, and regardless of age and body condition, playing with little ones seem to make them young, very young, once again. - the power of LOVE.

        Very sweet hub! Thank you very much. :=) -Tonette

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Interesting I don't have grandchildren as yet but when I look at my mother of how she is now enjoying her grandchildren kind gets me thinking of that pleasure in life. A beautifully thought of hub.

      • lambservant profile image

        Lori Colbo 

        5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

        My grandkids don't call me a saint, though they have said things like "Nana, I know you couldn't have ever done that, you're too good a Christian." Most of them know me as a bit zany. Max called me a cheese ball once when I was being silly. Grand parents raising children is so common now. funny how the kids they raised turned out so dysfunctional yet they do a good job raising the grands. Bless them all for what they do.

        Has your grandchild been born yet Ms Dora?

      • Jynzly profile image

        Jenny Pugh 

        5 years ago from Marion, Indiana, USA

        Very beautiful hub. I am a very loving and doting grandparent to my five wonderful grandchildren but I never had experienced having a grandparent in my whole life. My Dad and Mom were both parents and grandparents to me since they were already in the prime of their lives when I was born.

        You are very lucky to have relished the love and joy of your grandmothers.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Skye, thanks very much for your contribution to this subject. I do have one grandson and I am still longing for the opportunity to meet him. I love him already.

      • skye2day profile image

        skye2day 

        5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

        ms dora, Blessings dear sister. No matter the situation and many are far from ideal (what is ideal) grandchildren are a gift from God to behold. For me it has been an opportunity to expand on the learned knowledge from raising kids ( not so perfect )to loving my grandsons in the wisdom of Christ. Huge difference. With Christ all things are possible without Christ all is lost and in vain. The good news is God can turn ALL things for the good for those that love Him. When grandma or grandpa have the chance to share the love of Jesus and pass it on it is indeed a wonderful and blessed gift. The best gift we can share is Jesus and salvation. Grand parenting is not always easy but for the grace of God today I can ease up and enjoy the ride. Knowing all things work together for the good. Loving God is priceless and precious. In the grace of God I believe the grandsons see something in me. Trust me it is NOT I but the light of Him that is in me to help me. Just as He was by my side while raising daughters His grace abounds in grand parenting. It is easier than parenting for me because I know I do not have to do it perfect nor will I. This I know, Love Never Fails.

        Praise God for grandmas. I did not know mine well. So if and when you are a grandma seize the opportunity. Do not let issues come between the relationship. I am so honored to have a chance to know my boys. Truly a gift. Grandma seize the time it is a gift!!! No time to waste. Enjoy and love grand babies. They will honor and love you for it into eternity.

        Thank you ms dora for such a fine writing honoring grandma. Much Love to you sister. Hugs, Skye

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Faith Reaper, when all the chips are down, the grace of God still works wonders regardless of the facts. So happy for you that you made it through. I understand your not being able to put love into words. I've only seen my grandson on skype and I feel an amazing love for him as well.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Manatita, thanks for your comment. Happy for you that you had a positive relationship with your grandmother. To a point, you're right about grandmothers becoming fewer; partly because children were moving away from the homestead when they started their families. Now the "granny nanny phenomenon" is bringing in grandparents to raise the grandchildren. With older people living longer, and fixed incomes remaining fixed, those older people need financial help. The new parents also need help to meet the cost of daycare. So, bring granny home. She pays no rent; her children pay no daycare.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Poet, thanks for sharing. My experience is similar. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that my grandmother loved me.

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 

        5 years ago from southern USA

        Hi MsDora,

        I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful hub here, as I am one of those grandparents! My son, at his young age of 19, made me a grandmother. I now have three grandchildren, two granddaughters three and five years old, and on grandson a little over six months old.

        My son and his two daughters, before my grandson was born, came to live with us for 18 months.

        Thinking back, I don't know how we did it, but we did it, with the grace of God.

        I feel that love you write of here from my grandchildren, and I too, for them. There is just something extra special about the grands. We love our children, but it is hard to put into words until you experience it yourself.

        The grandchildren are aware of that unconditional love and acceptance from a grandparent no matter what, and they know a grandparent will always be so thrilled in the least little thing the grandchild does.

        I cannot imagine my life without them now!

        Excellent hub here, full of truth no doubt.

        Voted up ++++ and sharing

        God bless you, Faith Reaper

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        5 years ago from london

        A truly deserving article. My own grandmother had so much inner beauty, so much self-giving ... you should reflect this in your poll. It's a little arbitrary.

        The article itself is truly worthy of many grandparents all over the world. Alas! My own take is that perhaps because of a fast-paced life or other reasons, they seem to have become fewer. I could be wrong.

      • poetforlife profile image

        Marie Williams 

        5 years ago from Dallas, Texas.

        Hi MsDora. Thank you for this article. My grandmother played such an important role in my life. She helped to raise me and took great care of me in my childhood years. She is one of the few people in my life that I knew without a doubt really really loved me. Great piece.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Peg, according to the report, the number of multigerational families was on the decline until 2000. Apparently, it is on the rise again, thanks to economic hardship. In way, that's good for grandparents and grandchildren.

      • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

        Dora Weithers 

        5 years ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks, billybuc. I appreciate your commendation.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        The role of grandparents has certainly moved back to a place in time where multigenerational families lived together. As you've pointed out the many reasons for this shift to interdependence, I'm pleased to see that children have such a high regard for those who parent their parents. Reminds me in so many ways of the Waltons.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        I loved the title. The rest of the hub was a beautiful bonus. Well done, Dora!

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