NSW Grandparents Day celebrates the diversity of grandparent relationships across age groups, cultural backgrounds, and geographical locations.
We spoke to some grandparents about the joy and fulfilment that sharing time with their grandchildren brings to their lives.
Here are their stories:
Grandparents to seven grandchildren - Juliana (10), Olivia (8), Natanjia (6), Nathaniel (4), Lana (4) Archer (1) and Tatum (1).
“When spending time with our grandchildren, we like to go to the park for a picnic, play sports, ride bikes, roller blades and scooters. We play with our grandchildren on the slide, swings, monkey bars and flying fox. We love watching them dance and sing and play different musical instruments like violin and piano.
Our grandchildren make our lives complete. When our grandchildren hug and kiss us, it makes us feel an unexplainable happiness.
We’ve taught our grandchildren how to ride a bicycle, fish and how to fly a kite. We also teach and guide them in their spiritual lives.
We love being grandparents because being grandparents is an extension of our achievements as parents.
Our perfect Grandparents Day would be having a party with all our grandchildren and their parents.”
Grandparents to six grandchildren - Ashley (14), Lucas (9), Sharni (2), Jake (4), Heidy (1) and Sophia (1).
“Our grandchildren enrich our lives. We like to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, Easter, school events and sporting games with them. We also like to spend time with Alan’s sister Jennifer and her granddaughters Molly (11) and Charlotte (16).
The older children often help us around the house and garden, wash the car and assist with painting.
We feel a sense of pride when we see them grow and progress and mix with the other children around them.
We provide them with guidance and a senior’s point of view on things that we have experienced during our lives that their parents may not have.
We like having them visit and we like visiting them so their parents can have a night out together.
Our perfect Grandparents Day would be a picnic or BBQ at the park where the children can run free and play on the swings and slides and enjoy each other’s company.” br>
Grandparents to eight grandchildren - James (19), Jessica (18), Kayla (16), Brody (10), Lilli (8), Lacie (8), Mason (21 months) and Harrison (3 months).
“Our grandchildren brighten our day. We are blessed to have such great grandkids.
We like to watch the girls play netball, and watched Brody and James play soccer when they were younger. During the school holidays and on weekends, Lilli and Lacie enjoy sleeping over at our place and we spend our time going to the movies, skating or making craft at home. We baby sit Mason and Harrison and like to take them to the park.
Lilli rings us everyday to give us the update on what happened at school and James still calls when he needs help to print out an assignment or just wants to pop in and say hi.
We make sure we give each of them special one on one time - because they are a large family they all love their one on one time with nan and pop.
We love them, spoil them and then hand them back! We love our grandkids dearly and don't know what we would do if they weren't part of our lives.
Our perfect Grandparents Day would be a picnic somewhere near a pond or lake - participating in a game of soccer or cricket and enjoying food and each other’s company.”
Grandparents to a blended family of nine grandchildren - Heather (9) and Sage (6), Max (10), Nate (9), George (8), Summer (7), Mary (6), Claire (4) and Christopher (2).
“Our grandchildren fill our lives with the energy of youth, lots of laughter and enthusiasm and remind us of our own happy childhood and the joy of bringing up our own children. They help us feel connected, that we have a clan and that we have a very important role to play in it. They are a reminder that the values we hold dear will be continued into the future.
We like to spend birthdays and Christmas together. We baby sit, go camping together and visit their schools to see them perform. We attend sporting and music events and visit their classrooms on special occasions like Grandparents Day. We Skype, read books, garden, do art, bushwalk, and see shows and circuses, and watch movies together.
We offer our grandchildren the wisdom we have gained through life experience. Because we are more flexible with our time, we can be there as a backup extra pair of hands that understand the family better than anybody else.
As a parent the job is 24/7 and all consuming. As grandparents we still have time for ourselves and our own interests, whilst still enjoying our grandchildren, loving them and being loved in return.
Our perfect Grandparents Day would be a big family picnic with all our children and grandchildren, enjoying the great outdoors, lots of food, lots of laughter, storytelling and just being together in this beautiful country we live in.”
Grandparents to 19 grandchildren – Jayden (20), Madison (19), Brandon (18), Zane (18), Rani (16), Tianna (14), Francesco (12), Daniela (10), Tamika (10), Sophia (8), Ashton (8 ), Justin (7), Tyson (6), India-Rose (6), Amalia (5), Harper (5), Ava (4), Lyra (2) and Chiara (2). We also look after two other little girls (sisters) and have done this for the last 7 years. Matilda is 7 and Lucy is 2.
“Our grandchildren bring us so much joy and happiness. We give them unconditional love and they know that we are always there for them any time they need us. We would not have it any other way.
We like to take Harper, Lyra, Matilda and Lucy to gymnastics and swimming and we look after our grandson with disability,as he loves to come to our house. We get together for special events and functions. Kaye is always on hand for sewing duties!
We love being grandparents because we get so much love from them and they love being with us. We are the richest people in the world because we have something money cannot buy - LOVE.
Our perfect Grandparents Day would be to have all our children and grandchildren around us at the same time. It is always hard to get everyone together as some of them live far away.”
Grandparents to Anthony (9 years) and Leila (8 years).
“As grandparents, we think it’s important to teach our grandchildren about our cultural backgrounds. Nadia speaks to them in Arabic and we’ve told them that she was born in Sudan of Syrian descent, whereas Colin is a fifth generation Australian. We share stories from our lives when we were young children to give them a sense of what life used to be like. They have also interviewed us for school projects on our family backgrounds.
Now that we are retired we have more time to spend with our grandchildren. During holidays we take them to museums or galleries or on short trips. We attend their swimming lessons and Grandparents Day at their school. We have also been on family holidays to Fiji, Thailand and the South Pacific together.
We like to spoil them – but not too much! It is interesting to observe a younger generation growing up. They use computers for school work and are very involved in today’s world of information technology.
Our perfect Grandparents Day would be taking our grandchildren and their parents to Nowra for dolphin watching, to the Science Museum and Planetarium in Wollongong, or a weekend in Orange to go cherry picking.”
Grandparents to six grandchildren – Ananya (10), Armaan (7), Sejaan (3), Simran (2) and twin Maya and Aarya (4 months).
“Our grandchildren keep us active and young at heart.
We undertake child care three days a week. When spending time with our grandchildren, we like to take them to swimming lessons, school carnivals and outdoor leisure activities during the school holidays. We also speak our ethnic language with them.
As grandparents, we make a difference to our grandchildren’s lives by offering them a lot of time and patience which their busy parents can not always provide.
Our perfect Grandparents Day would be an outing with all our grandchildren and children.”
Grandmother to Aaliyah (7 months)
“Having Aaliyah has made my life very joyful. I love having a new baby in the family and now that I am older and supposedly wiser I can support her mum and dad to be best parents they can be. Hopefully I can help reduce some of the new parents’ anxiety and stress.
I make a difference to my grandchild by bringing another level of love and adoration to her life.
When I feel down I think of her and our future together as Nan and granddaughter.
My perfect Grandparents Day would be spending a day with my granddaughter, her mum and dad, her other nan and pop and all our family members.”
Grandmother to five grandchildren - Benjamin (17), Rylan (14), Gabrielle (6), Sam (11) and Mia (8).
“As a grandparent, I’m in a position to provide assistance to my sons and daughters-in-law with practical things like childcare and transport. Currently, I care for Gabrielle before and after school and in school holidays, and help out preparing meals for her and her brothers if their parents are working late. I feel really lucky to be a grandmother and to be able to contribute to the kids’ lives.
I like to attend the kids’’ rugby league, cricket, netball, swimming, gymnastics and school activities. I encourage them all to read and buy them lots of books and enjoy talking to them about what they are reading.
I arrange holiday outings for the younger ones so that they can spend time together. With the older boys, I help out with home work and driving lessons and they help me with minor home maintenance jobs. I enjoy cooking with and for them, and they all enjoy my sour dough bread, cakes, biscuits and soups.
The kids are all real individuals and I enjoy being with them and hearing about what they are up to and their perspective on the world. I like to encourage and support their interests, and tell them about and involve them in my interests (volunteering, art galleries).
Being a grandparent is so much easier than being a mum! I was young when I had my own kids (first at 19) and I loved being a mum but now I know so much more. I am more tolerant and less stressed, I have more time, and obviously I have learned from the mistakes I made.
My perfect Grandparents Day would be… there is no need for celebrations, just being involved is enough!”
Grandmother to six grandchildren - Angus (12), Lachlan (10), Cormac (9) Matilda (7), Eamon (4) and Hannah (4).
“As a grandparent, my grandchildren offer me unconditional love, innocence, fun and pure joy and pride. I make a difference to my grandchildren’s lives by showing them unconditional love - they can't do anything wrong!
I love being a grandparent because I have the luxury of being able to spoil them and spend quality time with them. The time you spend with them is all about 'them' and making the most of that time - it's fun time; not about doing daily jobs or chores.
My perfect Grandparents Day would be a lunch or dinner at home where the kids are able to enjoy themselves; run around and where all the family can enjoy each other’s company enjoying good food in a relaxed environment.”
Grandmother to six grandchildren – Karim (26), Halim (25), Zakaria (17), Karima (25), Haadi (17) and Rasheed (19).
“When I came to Australia in 1968 I had no family here to help me, so I wanted my three daughters to have that support which I would have found helpful.
I helped raise all my grandchildren so my daughters could go to work. This included a lot of support for my first grandson Karim, who has a disability, especially when he was younger. Now he is older he is more independent and I am so happy to see him growing up and achieving his dreams like the other grandchildren.
Karim is very good at using technology. He has been using computers to help him talk since he was in preschool. Now he teaches me how to use my phone, computer and iPad! He enjoys playing the drums and I feel happy to support him by providing space in my house for the drumming lessons.
I love spending time with my grandchildren. When they were younger I volunteered at their schools and attended all the functions. I now join in with the things they like to do. I love inviting them to dinner. They keep me young. I also enjoy telling them stories about my life and give them advice so that they can learn from someone who is more experienced than them. I believe grandparents are very important to family life.
My grandchildren give me so much happiness and love. I love seeing my grandchildren grow up, become independent and achieve so many things.
My perfect Grandparents Day would be having all of my family around me at a picnic on the beach. I like them to get out of the house into the fresh air and I always used to take them to the beach when they were younger. The beach has special happy memories for us.”
Grandfather to eight grandchildren – Stephen (48), Tracey (46), Theresa (42), Paul (41), Michael (39), Russell (40), Jason (38) and Samantha (36).
Great-grandfather to sixteen great-grandchildren - Chole (19), Jasmine (16), Charlotte (16) Ashley (14), Molly (11), Lucas (9), Robin (7), Lola (6), Megan (6), Peter (5), Harry (5), Jake (4), Sharni (2), Heidi (1), Sophia (1) and Oliver (4 months.
“I live in England but much of my family lives in Australia. Over the past 50 years I’ve managed to visit then in the Blue Mountains 21 times.
The thing I love most about being a grandparent is visiting my family. They fill me with energy and make me feel fulfilled. I like to be able to share my knowledge with them.
My perfect Grandparents Day would be meeting up with the whole family, including all of the great-grandchildren.”