Bridge the Generation Gap
I totally adore my grandchildren. Each day I try to think of how I can best help them so they will enjoy a productive happy life. They all have wonderful parents and I don’t want to overstep my bounds. Here I would like to share a few nuggets of wisdom left by those who have gone before me in this great adventure of being a grandmother.
My own paternal grandparents gave me a feeling that I still long for from time to time. They allowed me to feel that their home was my own. I remember roaming their little home and farm, picking up the eggs in the chicken coup and enjoying the peas in Grandma’s garden. They also raised sheep and I even remember a time when Grandpa put a saddle on one of them and let me ride her. They weren’t perfect, but they always encouraged me and made me feel warm and sunny inside.
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In this world of so many voices, I think it is our responsibility to plan some time to interact with our grandchildren. They need to feel close to us and hear our stories. Each time I see my grandchildren, I do try to single each one out of the group to talk to them and reinforce their self-esteem. I always try to connect with them and to let them know they are recognized and accepted by me.
Grandchildren each have a different personality and their demands are different. I have a couple of grandsons that are happy just to give me a hug and then they do their own thing. Some of the others need me to listen to every word they say for a while. It takes effort sometimes to really listen, not just pretend to.
I may not be able to be with some of the grandchildren because they live miles away, but I do remember them daily in my prayers. I also try to talk to them every weekend by phone or send an email or at least check how they are doing.
I enjoy making movies, and for special occasions I take some of their pictures and video, and put it together for them. I choose songs I think they will enjoy and send it to them or post it online so they can see it. I also post pictures of them that I have taken on our family website at family.com or other sites. These days we can stay close with the new technology – what a blessing that is.
When we are together, I try to do what the grandchildren want to do for a while. We play fun card games, dominos, board games, go to the park and swing, and play ball. I think sometimes I act more like their friend than their grandmother. I need to work on that. I know the time will come when I won’t be able to have as much fun with them. We have sleepovers and watch movies, play computer games, Playstation, Wii and make goodies. I think it is important that we laugh with our grandchildren. That is a priceless, wonderful gift.
My husband tries to get the grandchildren to help him around the yard and in the garden. Hopefully they will remember him as a hard-working person. They try hard to get away from doing any work while they are with us, but it is important that we teach them the value of work. The grandchildren helped in planting some corn and when we harvested it, they all got to taste it.
The ability to love unconditionally and to show it are the most important qualities a grandparent can possess. It is hard when you see your grandchild being disciplined, but it is important not to interrupt with the way their parents have chosen to deal with their children. I have learned this the hard way. Only give advice when you are asked.
Christ said “Suffer little children…to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14) Here, suffer is a verb. It is an action word. It means to allow or to experience. Christ instructed his disciples to let the children come, and then provided a great example by drawing the children to him. Because of the children’s purity and innocence, He said we are to become as they are. We draw the children to us to enjoy and learn from their faith, innocence and trust. From us they can learn how to live in a corrupt society without being corrupted by it.
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