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Living Through Our Children

Updated on January 17, 2015

Our children - Living Through Them. What can we learn?

I am sure there will be both pros and cons on this topic. For the most part, I would say most parents would profess it is not good to try and live through your children. That's the ideal world. But, many parents who look back will probably admit that they have done some of it, if nothing else, unintentionally. However, as a grandparent, I plan to do as much of it as I can, or get away with. As a grandparent I feel it gives me a chance to relive my childhood. So, maybe this lens should be called "Living through your Children's Children".

My first granddaughter was born February 7, 2007 (2013-she is now 6). I was able to visit with her days after she was born. It gave me that wonderful chance to relive motherhood. I enjoyed holding her, comforting her and feeding her. Recently, I became a grandmother for the second time (May 29, 2009). This time, because of the distance of where my son and daughter-in-law lived, I hadn't visited my sweet granddaughter Desiree until Christmas of 2009.

With my first granddaughter, Marissa, I was able to watch her grow from an infant to a young toddler before the family moved away. When it came time to play, I was ready and there. I loved to get down on the carpet and play with her toys and play make believe as she wanted to. I also had a chance to teach her a few sounds and moves, such as how a car sounds, pets making sounds, etc. When we went on walks - they were the best. There was time to explore. We would check out leaves, birds, butterflies, cats, puppies and more. Other times, when we needed quiet time, we would look at books.  I find this age is such a creative time for children.

One evening, before Marissa had moved, the family was over at our home. When getting ready to leave, my son had asked for a piece of wood for some project he had in mind. We let Marissa carry the wood to the car. It was only moments after we headed to the car that I spotted Marissa holding the piece of wood sideways up to her lips as if she was playing a flute. She had seen this somewhere and was imitating the playing of a flute. She was about two years old. What a delight. Needless to say, it was this grandmother who purchased her first toy flute. She loved it!

My second granddaughter, Desiree, is now 15 months old and such a joy (2013-she is going to be 4). I was afraid that when I got around to seeing her see would have difficulty warming up to me. Not the case. It was like there was no lapse in time.

Reading and story telling is another way to share with our grandchildren. It is especially fun if they are at the age where they can ask questions.  At such early ages, I find you must respect their attention span.  Sometimes they  want to just look at pictures, move the pages on their own.  Othertimes, they just want to be quiet and have you entertain them.  It is so wonderful.

I am now enjoying my grandchildren on a full-time basis. My husband passed away of cancer (9-3-2010) and it was his wish to be with the family during his last days. I hope to continue reliving my childhood through my grandchildren.


Grandmother Poem

A girl pays homage to her grandmother, always there for her, and now watching her from the heavens. She taught her to live with love, and for that she is eternally grateful.


Michele S. Reeves


A baby cradled in your arms...

Teaching me your gentle charms.

Growing up with you by my side...

Learning from you never to lie.

To understand and not judge too...

Love and kindness I also learned from you.

Through the years you watched me grow...

Teaching me everything I'd need to know.

Listening to every word I've said...

And every word I've wrote you've read.

You've been there for me to the end...

Until the day for you, God did send.

Now you watch me from up above...

Shining down on me your heavenly love.

I will miss you with all my heart...

Thank you for being there from the start.

Thank You Grandmother

Sharing Experiences

Just as memories of grandmothers revolve around their hugs and affection, recollections of grandpas often center on special outings and activities-and the values imparted along the way.

Today's youngest generation is missing out on acquiring some basic life skills as harried parents rush to fill their children's scant free time with supposedly intellectually stimulating exercises. Grandfathers should see this as an opportunity to step in and try to pass on some vanishing practical skills to their grandchildren. You'll model important values and create lasting memories along the way, and what's more important than that?

Cast a Line

Nothing embodies special, joyful times with Grandpa better than a day spent fishing, which involves the type of quiet and peaceful moments many parents today are unable to put the brakes on long enough to enjoy. For some great suggestions on the best equipment and techniques for junior fishers, visit the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation. When you

Continue: Grandfathers Sharing Their Experience With Their Grandchildren

Growing Up and Being A Parent

Growing Up and Being A Parent!

#Step 1

Accept the burden of parenthood. First you provide and nurture. Then you protect and counsel and then you provide refuge and friendship. From the time that you reluctantly let go of your little girl's hand as she attempts her first independent steps, you have begun the process of letting go that defines a successful parent. The path is different for every child and every parent. Special needs and social challenges often make the road complex and difficult. Family custom and circumstances can interfere. But, all things considered, if you've done your job as a parent as well as you can, you must be courageous enough to let go gradually until that day when they pack up their car and go off to school or into the world without you as you stand alone on the curb with tears of pride and joy in your eyes.

#Step 2

Applaud success loudly and commiserate failures quietly. Small children look to parents for approval. Older children avoid it like the plague. Be sensitive to your child's developing need for praise and sympathy and limit your criticism to really important mistakes such as when they run across the street in front of a truck. But, first, express your love and your relief that he made it safely. Learning to accept success with humility and defeat with determination are important lessons if children are to grow up into responsible, resilient adults. When their parents cheer them on and help them learn from their mistakes, it just makes it that much easier to do. More: How to Avoid Living Through Your Children

Grandpa's Pocket

Author Unknown

Now some kids have a grandpa.

Some have quite a few.

But mines the bestest grandpa

That anyone ever knew.

Hes not just ordinary

Hes got a special call.

He sounds like Woody Woodpecker,

I can hear him clear down the hall.

And boy, do I come runnin,

'Cause hes got more you see.

Hes got a special pocket

With things in it just for me.

And if I cuddle up

And give a great big kiss,

All kinds of little surprises come out,

I wouldnt want to miss.

He used to give us gum,

But mom said, "Not any more."

I guess she kept a findin it,

Smashed into the family room floor.

But heck, I dont even care

And I dont tell no fibs.

Hes got something better now.

For our kisses we get Nibs.

But my sister likes the fire.

He can turn it on for us.

And even the little babies

Can blow it out without a fuss.

And then we laugh when it blows out

He makes sure it doesnt hurt.

Its amazing what fun there is

In the pocket of his shirt.

But thats not all theres one more thing

He rubs it on our lips quick.

He calls it his chapstick,

But we call it our lipstick.

Some grandpas give kids money

And tell them not to drop it.

But ours gives hugs and kisses

And surprises from his pocket.

They Love Us Back

We can learn from our grandchildren. Marissa is such a sensitive and very loving child. When she was less than 15 months old, she shared one of her precious items with me. We had been playing outside for several hours and we both started to get tired. I was trying to get Marissa to take a nap with me on a blanket. So I ask her to join me. To help her get the picture, I proceeded to lie down on the blanket. I called to her. She came over to me, looked at me and immediately left. When she came back she had brought her binky (pacifier) and her baby blanket over to me, covered me with the blanket and began to put the binky in my mouth. It was so cute. However, I was so taken back by her wanting to comfort me. At the same time, it was all I could do to keep for laughing. It was so adorable. But still she had done for me what her mommy had done for her some many times - gave comfort!

update 2013 I still think this is one of the most precious pictures around of my granddaughter.

Desiree's Smile
Desiree's Smile


What's in a Name?

The girl's name Desiree \d(e)-si-

ree\ is pronounced DEZ-a-ray. It is of French origin, and the meaning of Desiree is "much desired". The Puritans used Desire as a given name. Literary: a popular novel published in the 1960s traced the biography of the French Dsire Clary from poverty in Marseilles to the throne of Sweden. Often spelled phonetically to ensure the French pronunciation.

And, with that smile...much desired!

Simple Experiences

I remember the first time my husband and I took our son to the beach. He had just started walking. We carried him out to the clean sandy area and put him down. Once his toes hit the sand he started to cry. It was unfamiliar territory and he didn't like it. Once he got use to it, he became fascinated with the sand pushing up between his toes. He forgot himself and was enjoying the moment.

Teaching By Example

Sharing what we know with our children can be something as simple is grilling hamburgers, baking a cake, or planting a tree in the backyard. They want to know what we are doing and why we are doing it. What could be better than showing them.

What Not To Do

We all want to see our children succeed; however, we must be sure what we want is best for them.

  • Don't make your dreams come true through your child.
  • Don't insist the sport you love become the sport for your child.
  • Don't expect a child will love everything he or she tries; nor assume they have failed if they don't like it. Do have them complete an assignment or course.

Food for Thought

Do We Really Protect Our Children?

Lies We Tell Kids (Paul Graham)

May 2008

Adults lie constantly to kids. I'm not saying we should stop, but I think we should at least examine which lies we tell and why.

There may also be a benefit to us. We were all lied to as kids, and some of the lies we were told still affect us. So by studying the ways adults lie to kids, we may be able to clear our heads of lies we were told.

I'm using the word "lie" in a very general sense: not just overt falsehoods, but also all the more subtle ways we mislead kids. Though "lie" has negative connotations, I don't mean to suggest we should never do this-just that we should pay attention when we do. [1]

One of the most remarkable things about the way we lie to kids is how broad the conspiracy is. All adults know what their culture lies to kids about: they're the questions you answer "Ask your parents." If a kid asked who won the World Series in 1982 or what the atomic weight of carbon was, you could just tell him. But if a kid asks you "Is there a God?" or "What's a prostitute?" you'll probably say "Ask your parents."

Since we all agree, kids see few cracks in the view of the world presented to them. The biggest disagreements are between parents and schools, but even those are small. Schools are careful what they say about controversial topics, and if they do contradict what parents want their kids to believe, parents either pressure the school into keeping quiet or move their kids to a new school.

The conspiracy is so thorough that most kids who discover it do so only by discovering internal contradictions in what they're told. It can be traumatic for the ones who wake up during the operation. Here's what happened to Einstein:

Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies: it was a crushing impression. [2]

I remember that feeling. By 15 I was convinced the world was corrupt from end to end. That's why movies like The Matrix have such resonance. Every kid grows up in a fake world. In a way it would be easier if the forces behind it were as clearly differentiated as a bunch of evil machines, and one could make a clean break just by taking a pill.


If you ask adults why they lie to kids, the most common reason they give is to protect them. And kids do need protecting. The environment you want to create for a newborn child will be quite unlike the streets of a big city.

That seems so obvious it seems wrong to call it a lie. It's certainly not a bad lie to tell, to give a baby the impression the world is quiet and warm and safe. But this harmless type of lie can turn sour if left unexamined.

Imagine if you tried to keep someone in as protected an environment as a newborn till age 18. To mislead someone so grossly about the world would seem not protection but abuse. That's an extreme example, of course; when parents do that sort of thing it becomes national news. But you see the same problem on a smaller scale in the malaise teenagers feel in suburbia.

The main purpose of suburbia is to provide a protected environment for children to grow up in. And it seems great for 10 year olds. I liked living in suburbia when I was 10. I didn't notice how sterile it was. My whole world was no bigger than a few friends' houses I bicycled to and some woods I ran around in. On a log scale I was midway between crib and globe. A suburban street was just the right size. But as I grew older, suburbia started to feel suffocatingly fake.

Continue Lies We Tell Kids


1. The power or act of seeing into a situation: penetration

2 The act or result of apprehending the inner nature of things or of seeing intuitively

I hope you will stop by and let me know how you like this lens.

Do Leave Your Comments

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    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent lens, I think we can learn a lot from our children. Blessed by an angel.

    • Jack2205 profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent lens. I like the poems and good tips.

    • blue22d profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @mbgphoto: Oh thank you SquidAngel for the blessing. It is nice to have our work appreciated.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Wonderful lens. You have some special grandchildren. I think this is a wonderful time of life. I thoroughly enjoy my grandchildren ages 7,5,1 and in January we will have #4. Thanks for a great lens. Blessed.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      An informative and sometimes touching lens. Thank you.


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