How do you want your grandchildren to remember you? Do you want them to remember their grandparents as loving guardians, protectors and mentors? Do you want to leave a purely monetary legacy so your grandchildren do not have to worry about financial instability or insecurity? There is no perfect legacy that will work for everyone. Grandparents have their priorities and preferences. Grandchildren will also have their likes and dislikes. The legacy effectively boils down to the emotional satisfaction of grandparents and what would be truly treasured by the grandchildren. Here are some ideal legacies you may consider leaving behind for your grandchildren.
The legacy of love is perhaps the most clichéd but also the most lingering. Grandchildren who are actually loved grow up to be compassionate adults. It is no secret that grandkids love to spend with their grandparents. It could be something as simple as watching television together or playing in the backyard, the joyful summer vacations or the nostalgic winter holidays. Nothing is a substitute for time. In this day and age when kids spend a lot of time alone, either because their parents are busy working or due to excessive use of technology that keeps them away from physically interacting with friends, it would be a precious treasure to spend time with grandparents. This also helps ageing grandparents as they often have to live a very lonely life.
The legacy of mentorship is always priceless. Grandparents have lived their lives and they have learned thousands of lessons. They are walking and talking encyclopedias, regardless of their academic qualification and professional expertise. Grandparents can teach useful life lessons to their grandkids, something the parents may not have time for. Kids are more receptive and cooperative with their grandparents. They are more likely to learn a thing or two if a grandparent calmly and patiently imparts the lesson. Mentorship could be all about encouragement if nothing too technical or specific. Kids need to feel they can accomplish great things and that they should work towards that. Most adults are compelled to make certain decisions in life that they wouldn’t out of sheer choice. Grandparents can groom their grandkids in a realistic but encouraging way.
Bequeathing something to your grandkids is always a great idea. It doesn’t have to be money, albeit college fund or startup money can be a great legacy. You can bequeath property. It doesn’t have to be a house or car. It can be any type of asset or an object that would prove to be useful for the kids growing up. There are innumerable things, from books to collectibles, all of which can have a profound impact on the lives of your grandkids. One must resist the temptation of bequeathing too much property or financial assets as that can instill a sense of entitlement. It is not wise to facilitate a feeling of entitlement among kids in this day and age.
Finally, grandparents must decide a way to keep their legacy alive. This could be facilitated through legacy letters or videos. There can be a trust or attorney who could ensure the legacy is truly realized. The parents can be involved to effectively convey the essence of the legacy. Leaving behind a legacy is not a unidirectional exercise. The grandkids should remember their grandparents, their contributions and support. The grandkids should cherish the legacy. Only then would the whole effort be fruitful. In an era of forgetfulness and shrinking attention, at a time when people are readily forgetting their roots and don’t wish to have anything to do with their past, creating a long lasting legacy needs serious pondering.