NANA’S HOUSE by Teresa Kindred
At what age are grandchildren the most fun?
I will soon be Nana to eight grandkids. The oldest is a granddaughter who is 16, and I’ll get a new grandson in a few months. If I had to pick one single age that was the most fun, I know which age I’d pick, but every grandparent is different and so is every grandchild.
Here are some reflections on this question from my years as a parent and grandparent:
What’s fun about each age …
0-2 Years Old
I call this the “Who do they look like?” stage. It’s so much fun to look at each detail—fingers and toes, nose, mouth, all their features—and guess who they look like. Chances are everyone will have a different opinion and that’s okay, because if you wait a month or so, they will look like someone else.
This is also a great age because they change so much in the first two years. From tiny baby to the Terrible Twos (which really aren’t terrible if you ask the grandmother), they become tiny little tornadoes of fun!
Age 2-5 – Preschool
I love all ages and stages, but this one is special. They are becoming little people who have likes, dislikes and still adore Mommy and Daddy and grandparents (of course). I remember watching my daughter when she was three years old chase lightening bugs out in the backyard. She was wearing a white nightgown and her dark hair was down to her waist. I remember thinking: If I could freeze her at this age, I would. But how unfair would that be? Now she has children and I get to enjoy them through all the ages and stages.
When our twins were this age, I loved picking them up at school because they would talk to each other about what had happened that day. The other kids were fun too, but they didn’t offer as much information as the twins. I do remember my daughter and a friend discussing what dating would be like when they were older. Her friend said, “They’ll take us to a restaurant and buy us steak and then we’ll go to the movies.” My daughter agreed. I just laughed. This age was the beginning of Little League ballgames, dance class and the “running years.”
I did my best to enjoy every moment, but it still went by too quickly.
Hormones. Puppy love. Sports events. This age speeds by like a summer storm and leaves you breathless … but it’s fun.
The letting go years. Maybe some parents have an easy time with this. I didn’t. Now as a grandparent, I still find it hard. The goal of every parent is to get their children ready to leave the nest. Bit by bit, step by step, they venture out into the world until one day you know your child isn’t coming back. Oh, they come back but it’s as an adult and the relationship is forever changed. This is good and bad, fun and hard, depending on the individual child.
I still remember walking into the grocery store after my daughter had left for college and seeing a display of Mountain Dew (her favorite drink at the time) and losing it. I had to leave and go sit in my car and cry. I didn’t tell her how hard it was for years, because as much as you’d love to keep them little … you can’t. They have to find their own path, their own way, and make their own life.
Age 18 +
They will come back to visit and bring more with them. It’s so fun seeing who they turn out to be, what they love doing, and who they end up falling in love with.
So, at what age are grandchildren the most fun?
You guessed it. There really is something about every age that is amazing because grandchildren are absolutely wonderful! But you knew that, right? NanaHood and being a grandparent rock!
Teresa Kindred is a freelance writer, former teacher, and author of several books, including The Faith-Filled Grandmother. She’s the mom of five grown children and “Nana” to seven precious grandchildren. She and her husband live in Kentucky. Her blog for grandparents is at NanaHood.com.