Many people think that Grandparents Day is on the 4th Sunday in July. Grandparents Day is celebrated on the 1st Sunday after Labor Day each year.
The date this year falls on September 11th. We also have a full day dedicated to our grandparents, much like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Grandparents and their children have a unique bond that is demonstrated to make grandparents live longer while at the same time making children more emotionally resilient. Grandparents Day is a chance to remember that bond and spend quality time with your family.
It’s a special day for people to honor their grandparents and all they do. Grandparents Day was started by President Truman in 1958. It wasn’t until 1972 that it became an official federal holiday when President Nixon signed the law proclaiming this day officially national Grandparents Day.
The Origins of Grandparents Day
Russell Capper, a nine-year-old boy from Massachusetts, wrote to President Nixon in 1969 proposing that a day be set aside to honor grandparents. On June 12th, 1969, he received a letter back from Rose Mary Woods — Personal Secretary to the President — that read: “Dear Russell, Thank you for writing to President Nixon.“I’m writing to express my pleasure regarding your Grandparent’s Day idea. Your suggestion for a Grandparent’s Day is acknowledged, but the President only issues proclamations designating times for special observance when a Congressional resolution allows him to do so. With kind regards, Rose Mary Woods Personal Secretary to the President.”
Following this letter, Marian McQuade was designated the creator of National Grandparents Day by both the United States Senate and President Jimmy Carter. McQuade felt that educating youngsters about the value of elders and their historical contributions were a vital part of her mission. She urged teenagers to “adopt” a grandparent and learn more about their unique life experiences and mindset. Grandparents Day was first celebrated as a day to honor grandparents on June 5, 1978. Grandparents Day has been recognized by the presidential proclamation since 1978.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the month of September as Grandparents Month. In 1988, Congress passed a resolution designating that Grandparent’s Day be celebrated
In 1977, Senator Randolph, together with other senators, introduced a joint resolution to the Senate calling on President Carter “to annually issue a proclamation designating September 1st after Labor Day as ‘National Grandparents’ Day.’”
The bill was passed by Congress, making Grandparent’s Day on the first Sunday after Labor Day a national holiday. On August 3, 1978, Jimmy Carter signed the declaration, and the holiday was formally observed for the first time in 1979.
A Grandparent’s Role in Child Rearing
The modern family dynamic has changed quite a bit over the years. Historically speaking, grandparents were responsible for child-rearing during their children’s time away from working or serving in war efforts. Grandmothers and grandfathers would often take care of their grandchildren while mother and father worked to provide for the household. Oftentimes this happened because parents had passed away due to illness or warfare, leaving only the grandparents to care for their grandchildren.
Grandparents played a crucial role in child-rearing before the dawn of modern medicine and more agrarian societies. Grandparents were also responsible for teaching their grandchildren valuable life skills concerning how to grow crops and tend to livestock. Grandparents help children learn proper etiquette and moral values by sharing parables from ancient storytellers or religious texts. Grandchildren learned important lessons about the fair play during games such as hide-and-seek or King of the Hill from their grandparents.
Grandparents continue to play an integral role in child-rearing today. Grandchildren learn invaluable lessons including discipline, manners, and respect from their grandparents who help guide them through these difficult developmental stages that all children go through.
Grandparents make a significant impact in their grandchildren’s lives and continue to influence them into adulthood. Grandchildren rely on their grandparents for support when dealing with bullying, divorce, or other adversities that can be difficult for adults with much fewer children to manage on their own. Grandparents are the pillars of strength for their grandchildren during these trying times in a child’s life.
Grandparents provide unconditional love and support when it matters most to a child emotionally and psychologically. Grandchildren learn about empathy from talking with their grandparents who have gone through similar challenges in life such as the death of a loved one, poverty, illness, or war-related experiences which can often leave deep emotional scars. Grandchildren learn how to cope emotionally with these challenges by sharing stories with their grandparents
How To Commemorate Grandparents Day
Some ideas for giving gifts include family photo albums, scrapbooks of memories, telephone call cards, gift certificates for groceries, or gas station/restaurant cards. If you know what type of things your Grandparent enjoys doing, consider getting them some fun materials to do those things with- puzzles, coloring books, play dough, and more.
Grandparents Day is all about having fun and spending time with your Grandparents.
Here are some activities:
- Cook their favorite meal Together.
- Go shopping together
- Have a Family Dinner
- Enjoy A Hobby Together
- Spend Time with Your Grandparents
- Take your grandparents out for an evening of fun.
- Take them to the movie theater,
- Go on a boat ride or whale watching
- Go ice-skating
- Eat dinner together at their favorite restaurant.
- Spend Time with your Grandparents
- Give Grandparents a Grandchildren Day Card
If you’d like to make Grandparents Day cards, here are some ideas:
- Draw a picture of the Grandparent’ face (or use a photo) and write something nice to them such as, “I love when we spend time together.”
- Fold a piece of paper in half draw a large heart on the top half and write inside it how much they mean to you and why!
- Cut out little squares from construction paper and glue them onto another sheet of paper to spell out “Thank You Grandma/Grandpa!”
Grandparents adore us. They can be stubborn and outspoken, but in the end, they always want what is best for us. Our grandparents have seen a lot throughout their lives and lived through it all, so it’s not surprising that they know something. They’ve learned a lot in life and now have the opportunity to pass on lessons to you. Let’s face it; we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.
They raised our parents and made time to spoil us as children, so it only seems right that we return the favor now. Grandparents have been a part of our lives from the very beginning. Grandparents Day is all about celebrating those people who have been there for us from the start and let’s be honest, they’ve done a lot more than just fill up on Grandma’s free food! Grandparents are there to comfort us when we lose a loved one, Grandparents help pick out our first prom dress and Grandpa helps us buy our first car.
For more information check out our All Glorious December Global Holidays article here.
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