Raising kids the communal way
Grandparents are indeed a valued resource
t takes a village to raise a child, a saying I’ve never really thought too much about, until recently. You see, my parents have been living in their bus in my backyard while they have been working here in Alexandra and building in Twizel. You’d think it would be rather challenging having your mother so close but the opposite is true. Yes, I’ve have had to keep my house cleaner than normal and my washing line isn’t always my own but their years have had an amazing impact on my children’s lives. Grandparents share a totally different type of relationship with children than parents do and I think my children have gained so much from having them just outside the backdoor. They extend endless patience with a five-year-old’s constant jibber jabber, wisdom to a distraught (slightly dramatic) teenager and time for a wee guy with yet another imaginative halfplanned building project. They impart all the knowledge we parents haven’t discovered through life yet, provide the lessons we may not have learnt, offer ears, advice, hugs and generally add more value to a child’s world. They move on soon, off to finish their house and enjoy semiretirement. This experience has enriched all our lives and I will miss the support, friendship and advice, being so close. And let’s not forget the glass of wine they offered to a frazzled mother at the end of a busy day. So yes, it does help having a ‘‘village’’ to raise children, and I will miss mine. ● Suzie Sykes, mother of 3 . . . still trucking on.
Wisdom: Grandad (Dave Murphy) teaches three-year-old Charlotte a few tricks in their Alexandra garden.