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REVIEW of Focus 14

Out of Mothballs
Oldies putting retirement on hold to care for the grandchildren

Whales do it and they are recognised as being pretty smart. Grandma looks after the calves while the pod goes about doing what has to be done for the good of all. As for the human race, some cultures figured out long ago that it worked well; the rest of us took time to catch up, but we are getting there. Pressures of modern living make it difficult for parents to be on hand for their children 24/7; with grandparents around to fill in the gap, however, the young have been gifted with ideal carers who were actually born to it.

Most oldies welcome the opportunity to be more than just occasional baby-sitters, frequently caring for their grandchildren on a daily basis while the parents are out at work. It might seem that the generation gap is too wide to make this association beneficial - surely kids regard these ageing dinosaurs as not even on the same planet? Much of the time, the reverse is true. Kids may constantly argue the toss with Mum and Dad, but are reluctant to have a slanging match with Pop, certainly not with Nanna. A level of mutual respect tends to develop between the very young and the very old; and, surprisingly, they also seem to speak the same language! Add trust to the mix and the future for all concerned is rosy.

Maybe it's to do with lifespan. When a person is nearing what could be the end there is time for reflection, thinking back to when they themselves were young; and this can be quite sad. But give them a young child or two to care for and they can put these melancholy contemplations aside. Then they can happily revisit their early experiences in real life through the newest members of their family, while imparting the wisdom that will see their charges ready for the future that awaits them.

To read the complete article or download the PDF of Focus 14 click here

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