When the beginning of a new year of school arrives, so does an entire array of expected activities including picture day. Years ago, school photo time wasn’t that much of a big deal. The private school kids wore their uniforms, and the public school kids dressed up in their Sunday best. No rules were needed because everyone simply knew what was expected (partly because of the forms that were sent home with explicit details about the requirements) and everyone arrived to school in clean clothes that were more than suitable.
While the clothing worn by school children throughout the country is quite a bit different than what baby boomers wore back in the day, one aspect of school photo time that has remained the same is the joy that many children feel when they escape the classroom for a few moments as they stand in line waiting for their photograph to be taken. What else happens to be the same regarding school time for this current generation of kids and their grandparents before them?
This might be a question that isn’t getting answered in most homes today. For one thing, after-school activities are more numerous now than fifty years ago. Kids today have the opportunity to join any number of sports teams affiliated with their schools. Plus, they can join the Girl Scouts of America or Boy Scouts of America if they want. Of course, choir and band activities are also available today.
How are today’s kids supposed to know how different school really is from forty or fifty years ago unless someone sits them down and talks about it? It’s not going to be in any of their history books or video games. While this might not be earth-shattering news, it is information that they may someday wonder about. Who better to tell them what life in the school room used to be like than the grandparents who know and love them? They’ve lived through it in the past, and now they have the opportunity to share it.
The information that you share about your school days as a grandparent may come in handy for your grandchildren, especially if it can help them to deal with situations involving bullies, getting picked last for schoolyard games, performing poorly on school tests, finding it difficult to enjoy each school day, and so on. Your grandchildren may even discover that you were really lucky since your mother may have been able to stay in the home while you attended school – at least during the elementary years.
The first Sunday after Labor Day is National Grandparents Day. It’s a great reminder that grandparents have a responsibility to share their lives, past and present, with their children as well as their children’s offspring. Telling stories about their school days can show their grandchildren just how much life has changed over the years. This is just one reason why it is important for grandparents to talk to their grandchildren about their childhood experiences. Love and special bonding time are two other good reasons.