• Seeing My Parents' Joy With Their Apo Is a Gift I Treasure the Most

    There is a special and irreplaceable bond between grandparents and their apos that is lovely to watch.
    by Carol Amistad .
Seeing My Parents' Joy With Their Apo Is a Gift I Treasure the Most
PHOTO BY courtesy of Carol Amistad
  • Have you noticed how different our parents are when it comes to our children? By different, I mean they’re sweeter, patient, and well, more lenient. They also seem to be at their happiest their happiest state when they are with their grandchildren.

    I noticed their joyful state when we lived with my parents for a few months last year. Before we moved in with them, they were struggling with their finances and health. My mom, who’s already in her 70s often got sick, although it never stopped her from taking care of the whole household. My dad, on the other hand, retired after he suffered from a stroke several years ago. 

    I realized how lonely they were because of the laugh that emanated from them when we would visit. With their apo, they always had this hearty kind of laughter in the company of my daughter who was 3 years old then. That was when my husband and I decided to temporarily move in with them.

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    For six months, I saw how my daughter transformed the gloomy house into a place filled with joyous shrieks and laughter. I witnessed how my parents became incredibly happy because they were able to bond every day with their grandchild. They have other grandkids, but perhaps it wasn't the same because my nephews and nieces were already grown-ups (and more pasaway now — sorry, pamangkins, but it might be the truth!)

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    The author's parents (far right and third from right) with their apos
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Carol Amistad

    I now have a preschooler and an infant, and we’re living with my in-laws this time. But we make sure that my children see my parents at least twice a month. My mother-in-law is the one taking care of my youngest when hubby and I are at work, and just like my mom and dad, I know how much pride and joy she feels every time she is with her grandkids.

    So what makes the relationship between lolos and lolas and their apos so special? Every time I see my parents and my in-laws talk to my kids, all I can see is overflowing love. My children, on the other hand, no matter how young they are, seem to reciprocate the same affection as well.

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    A study made by Boston College researchers found that emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduced depressive symptoms in both groups. The study, published online in 2014 in the journal The Gerontologist, included 374 grandparents and 356 adult grandchildren who were taking part in a larger study. The researchers looked at data collected over a 19-year period.

    Close grandparent-grandchild relationships are often a marker of strong family ties overall, but these intergenerational bonds also come with their own distinctive benefits, said lead author Sara Moorman, an associate professor of sociology at Boston College. As people are living longer, these bonds are becoming even more important.

    For grandparents, relationships with grandchildren provide a connection with a much younger generation and exposure to different ideas, which might otherwise be limited. For grandkids, grandparents can offer life wisdom that they can put into practice as they navigate young adulthood.

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    I asked two teenagers and a tween what are the fondest memories that they have with their grandparents:

    Sofia Huerta, 12
    Lived with her grandparents for nine years

    Sara Huerta's (in red) message for her grandparents: "I just want to express how much you both mean for me. You dedicated your life to your kids and grandkids."
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Carol Amistad

    “The fondest memories I have with my grandparents are simple everyday things! Just like whenever we go to prayer meetings and bible studies, I learn a lot from their sharing and scripture. I love eating Mamang’s homemade desserts especially the gelatin! I always remember Papang playing the guitar every morning. I would always watch him play it. I am thankful for the stability, support, wisdom, kindness, and love they provide.”

    Christian Andrei Utanes, 19
    Been living with his grandparents since he was 3 months old

    “My fondest memories with my grandparents is we always go to Jollibee every Saturday or Sunday after attending Sunday mass together. I may not say I love you to them every day, but I am grateful how they have given me a chance to experience how wonderful life is.”

    (From left) Andrei Utanes with his lolo and Hannah with her lola
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Carol Amistad

    Hannah Kyla Bautista, 18
    Been living with her grandparents since birth

    “Being with them, laughing with them, and of course understanding each other through ups and downs. They are always there for me in every decision, right or wrong, I make.”

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    And to my parents and in-laws, THANK YOU for taking care of our children. THANK YOU for your unconditional love. We love you! Happy Grandparents’ Day!

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