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Why Grandparents Day 2016 is for Everyone, Not Just Grandmas and Grandpas

By Margaret Manning September 06, 2015 Family

Happy Grandparents Day everyone!

Not so long ago, I wrote an article about the important role that grandparents have to play in making the world a better place. The point that I made was the older adults have a unique set of skills to offer the younger generations. We also have a responsibility to ensure that we leave the world in better shape than we entered it.

The article sparked a great discussion and, for the most part, the feedback on the topic was overwhelmingly positive. However, there was one thing that I felt bad about after reading all of the comments and emails.

Several women in the community said that they felt that the focus on grandparents as having a special role to play in the world made them feel bad about their own family situation. What about women who, for one reason or another, do not have grandkids?

As we approach Grandparents Day 2016, which is coming on September 11th, I wanted to address this issue head on. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I believe that Grandparents Day should be a celebration of the unique role that all older people have to play in making the world a better place.

Throughout time, and across cultures, there has always been an appreciation of the role that “elders” have to play in society. Sadly, you could argue that this position has become less important in recent years.

We need to help change the perception of the role that older people play in making the world a better place!

Celebrating Grandparents Day Starts with Grandparents…

The truth is that all older adults have a role – and a responsibility – to make the world a better place. Those of us who have grandkids of our own have a natural “focus” for our energy. We share our wisdom with our grandkids. We give them a shoulder to cry on. We offer them unique experiences. We are there for them, when they need us most.

But, it Doesn’t Stop There!

So, what about all of the older adults who do not have grandkids? Should they be left out on Grandparents day? Absolutely not!

There are so many ways that each of us can help kids from all walks of life to reach their potential. For example, I know hundreds of women who have chosen to be mentors to young people. Other members of the Sixty and Me community volunteer at local schools. Even more people focus on charities and organizations that make the world a better place, in whatever ways are important to them.

There is no denying that grandparents have a special relationship with their grandkids. Trust me; there is nothing that I enjoy more than having ice-cream parties with my granddaughter over Skype. But, this doesn’t mean that we should only celebrate the biological grandparents among us.

This year, on Grandparents Day 2016, let’s take a moment to thank all of the older adults in the world, who are making the world a better place for the future generations. Let’s thank the grandmas and grandpas, who teach, nurture, entertain and guide their grandkids.

And, let’s also thank the millions of amazing older adults out there who, while they do not have their own grandkids, make the world a better place in their own special way. Thank you each and every one of you! You are amazing!

Do you have grandkids of your own? What do you like best about being a grandparent? Do you agree that all men and women who help to make a difference in the lives of young people should be celebrated on Grandparents Day? Why or why not? Please join the conversation.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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