Does ‘e-grandparenting’ sound meaningful? | Daily News

Does ‘e-grandparenting’ sound meaningful?

I bow my head with great respect to late Dr Arthur C Clark, the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa of international acclaim, for his pioneering fictional efforts to pave the way for a brave new world through satellite communication. Now, we live in a digital world with the ultra-modern equipment due to the unending efforts and perseverance of the scientists of the yesteryear, on one hand, and on the other hand, due to classical literature invented by literati who revolutionized human thinking. In a profound analysis, the poet is a seer. Imaginations of the writers put the world in a good stead. This brilliant fictional seer illuminated the world, not in uncertain words. The pen is mightier than the sword.

Since my eldest daughter migrated to Australia with her husband and their only son at toddling, I have been in communication with them through IMO, the desktop messenger. We, my beloved wife and I, have been enjoying this novel experience of effective communication since then. By the time our grandson was taken there, he was only six-months-old.

Effective communication

Our daughter Amalka and the son-in-law Thisara left no stone unturned to create a nourishing intellectual environment for our grandson to develop his intellectual potentialities to the fullest through minute planning in addition to their inherent intellectual genetics in their DNA. In a sense, our grandson Himath Keshawa is fortunate enough to hail from an intellectual lineage which has generated many a brilliant intellectual to Mother Lanka, one of his grandfathers being the Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof Chandrakumara Pathirage, and Thisara’s father a reputed architect, all the uncles well stationed in life- an eye surgeon, a charted accountant, and an electrical engineer, maternal grandparents post graduate diploma holder graduates.

Hima’s father is an engineer with a doctorate from the University of Queensland and mother is a professionally qualified English medium maths teacher.

The afore given factual information, I hope, prepare me a convenient backdrop to come to my focal point of effective communication between my grandson and us two, his grandparents, through IMO. All this time I have been monitoring the smooth progress of the child’s potentials. Now, he has developed to a level of operating most of the modern electronic gadgets with utmost care. The educationally devised playthings he uses propel him forward to acquire the necessary skills.

Inherent intellectual capabilities

Hima, our grandchild enjoys e-grandparenting to his heart’s content. We are on cloud nine. He is always looking forward to seeing us. He practices his swimming lessons in mimicking on IMO. He sings and dances. His musical shows make us aghast. His bedtime reading has marvellously improved. He draws beautiful pictures by looking at the drawings shown on IMO by my wife. He sings with us a lot. His only aunt Navoda who is reading for her doctorate in civil engineering at The University of Regina, Canada is always unlocking his inherent intellectual capabilities. She plays the role of a catalyst. From three countries far away from our grandson, we are making a concerted effort to give the world a novel experience of a hitherto unexplored sphere, my attempt is to introduce a new word to express this experience through terminology or else lexicology as it may be applicable.

I have been perusing through many a thesaurus, encyclopaedia, dictionaries and other relevant resource materials and even inquired from my learned friends whether they had found a word to describe how the grandparents whose grandchildren are in faraway countries do grandparenting. These circumstances compelled me to ponder on and ultimately I was able to invent this term or word. When I was reading for my GCE (A/L) examination one of my classmates brought a new word to the classroom. It was kota uda, it simply means a particular work or programme is in vain.

One defect that is palpable to me in e-grand parenting is lack of emotional aspect. The genuine warmth between grandparents and grandchildren thrives through physical contacts. It is reasonable. I humbly believe that even in the absence of that aspect ‘e-grand parenting’ could suffice to define the concept.


 

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