Grandparenting- The Science & Art of It !

Dr. Narendra Rathi


Senior Paediatrician,

Smile Children Clinic, Andheri west, Mumbai.


At Smile Children Clinic, we often see grandparents accompanying kids brought for consultation and vaccinations. There’s a reason for this heartwarming sight – grandparents hold a special place in a child’s life. In fact, according to a study by the European Journal of Ageing:, a whopping 13% of the world’s population are grandparents!


Is it really ‘grand’ to be a grandparent?

Absolutely! Grandparenting offers a unique opportunity to relive the joys of parenthood from a relaxed and experienced perspective. It’s a chance to shower love and affection on your grandchild without the pressures of daily child-rearing. In my 34 years of practice as a consultant paediatrician, I have witnessed immense joy and pride in grandparents.

Silver lining to silver hair!

While aging brings its share of challenges, grandparenting can be a bright spot. Studies have shown that, grandparenting can improve mental and physical health, providing a sense of purpose and social connection (

Star like grandparents!

Imagine being a superhero to a child who looks up to you with awe and admiration. Grandparents often hold a special place in a child’s heart, acting as storytellers, confidantes, and pillars of support. Kids realise that you are like stars, they may not see them every time but you are there!

Grandparent’s guide to growing up, again!

Grandparenting allows you to experience the wonder of childhood all over again. You get to witness the magic of a child’s first steps, their first words, and their ever-expanding curiosity about the world. Here is how you can be a better grandparent:

  • Communicate: Talk openly with your children about your involvement level and expectations. Respect their decisions regarding their child’s upbringing.
  • Stay Informed: Make an effort to understand the current parenting philosophies and approaches. This helps you connect better with your grandchild and avoid unintentionally conflicting with your child’s methods. We, at Smile Children Clinic, Andheri west, Mumbai offer you insights about child health and safety.
  • Be Flexible: Grandparenting styles may need to adapt as your grandchild grows and their needs change.
  • Offer a Safe Space: Be a listening ear and a source of comfort for your grandchild.
  • Respect Boundaries: Don’t overstep boundaries set by your child and his/her parents!
  • Embrace the Journey: Grandparenting is a rewarding adventure filled with laughter, love, and growth.


Be a parent cum teacher cum friend to your grandchild

The ideal grandparent-grandchild relationship is a beautiful blend of roles. You can be a source of guidance and wisdom, a patient teacher, and a fun-loving friend who creates lasting memories.

Hold hand for a while but a heart forever!

The bond between grandparent and grandchild is built on love and shared experiences. While physical proximity may change, the emotional connection remains strong throughout life.

At its Worst – Avoid spoiling the grandchildren and criticising the parents!

While it’s tempting to indulge your grandchild with every wish, remember that spoiling can have negative consequences. Similarly, avoid criticizing your child’s parenting style – it can create unnecessary tension.

Laughter lines will outnumber the wrinkle lines!

Grandparenting is full of laughter, silly games, and heartwarming moments. The joy you share with your grandchild will surely leave more laugh lines than worry lines on your face!

Grandparents in the driver seat!

While some grandparents are actively involved in childcare, others play a more supportive role. The level of involvement depends on individual circumstances and family dynamics. The key is open communication and respecting parental decisions.

The joy and the chaos of Grandparenting

Grandparenting is a beautiful paradox – it’s filled with immense joy and occasional chaos. But, being a grandparent of two, I can assure you that the rewards far outweigh the challenges, creating a unique and lasting bond.

Avoid adventures in Grandparenting!

Remember, your role is to support, not replace, your child’s parenting. Avoid overstepping boundaries or undermining their decisions.

Grandparenting is a precious gift, offering a chance to connect with a younger generation and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, embrace the joys, navigate the challenges, and cherish the special bond you share with your grandchild.