When a problem arises, your first instinct might not be “Let me call Grandma”–but maybe it should be. Grandparents are insightful and experienced mentors who put you first. They tap into their experience to deliver thoughtful answers to your questions, guidance for your dilemmas and reassurance for your concerns. Grandparents make ideal mentors for a number of reasons.
1. Wealth of Experience
When grandparents provide sage advice, this guidance is based on their decades of life experience. As the older generation, grandparents have a wealth of experiences that have taught them lessons, answered questions and guided them to make thoughtful decisions in their lives. As mentors, grandparents pass along these insights to their children and grandchildren.
When you’re caught in a crisis, you might not think entirely rationally. A heated debate with your partner might leave you feeling lonely and concerned about your future. A life-changing decision at work simply might seem like too big of a decision to make. An argument with a friend might leave you wanting to write that pal off for good.
Grandparents provide perspective for your troubles, and this insight allows them to serve as valuable mentors. Sure, your partner’s words might have been hurtful, but your grandparents might help you see your partner’s good intentions. They serve as thoughtful mentors, providing insight without the adrenaline that left you feeling energized, frustrated, or angry. This calm, rational voice can guide you through life’s decisions, big or small.
3. Time to Reflect
Your grandparents have been there. Both went to school. Both found love–and they maybe even lost it. They became parents and watched as those crying and cooing babies quickly grew up into energetic children. They handled angsty teenagers. Eventually, they raised capable adults.
Through these seasons of life, your grandparents reflected on what worked in their lives, what didn’t and what required tweaking. As mentors, they can share these reflections with you, which will set you on a path toward a fulfilling life.
4. Simpler Time
Sure, today’s older adults might be more technologically savvy than the previous generation. ISL’s 2014 Facebook Demographics & Statistics reported that the number of individuals aged 55 and older on Facebook grew by more than 80 percent from 2011 to 2014. However, today’s high-tech grandparents weren’t always living in the digital age.
Your elders weren’t constantly texting their besties about weekend plans. Seniors didn’t have to “check in” at every weekend hot spot to ensure their friends knew where to find them. They didn’t capture perfectly filtered images of every meal they ate for the world to see. They lived in a more face-to-face world, and this experience brings helpful insight to you. As your mentor, your grandparents can help you live in the moment, worrying less about what is happening on social media and more about what is going on in your reality.
Simply put, grandparents are there, and they are there for you. While about one-third of U.S. adults were still working full-time at the age of 65 in 2002, according to the National Institute on Aging, that figure dropped to less than 14 percent by age 70. As a result, as grandparents face retirement age, they are simply more present in your lives because the obligations of work are gone. This availability makes seniors, with their wisdom and wit, ideal mentors.
Today’s seniors are embracing active aging and staying involved in the lives of their extended families. Whether you’re making an important decision or seeking guidance for a tricky situation, your grandparents can impart their wisdom, which can help you manage your dilemma with poise. Cherish your conversations with your grandparents because these moments will add purpose to your life.