Importance of grandparents to their grandchildren:
1. Torchbearers of thoughts – Grandparents in most houses are the torchbearers of certain thoughts and beliefs as part of a generation that has ‘been there done that’. They pass on religious beliefs and practices that they have learnt from their parents to their kids and then to their grandchildren. So, even as parents are rushing about the task of earning for the family and making a living, fending to their as well as the child’s needs, it is the grandparents who take on the onus of teaching the kids how to pray and the significance of religion in our lives.
2. Involving kids in the process – There are certain events that revolve around children. For example, sons of Brahmins among the Hindus in India have what is called a janau or a holy thread ceremony, where the boy is made to wear the sacred thread across his shoulder as part of the ceremony, followed by feasting and celebrations. Now, this process is a way by which a child is taught the significance of being a Brahmin, the importance of the thread, the daily rituals associated with it and how to maintain its sanctity throughout his life. Also, there is a mundan or hair cutting ceremony wherein the hair of the child—born in a Hindu home—has to be chopped off. The ceremony is generally performed at a place of religious importance among Hindus—it could be Haridwar or Rishikesh—in the presence of elders of the family. We come to know of the existence of such practices by our grandparents who passed it on to their children and then to the next generation.