My life has changed in the last few months in a very good way. I love being in Wilmington with the beach just a few miles away; getting ready to build my dream home on a beautiful water setting; knowing two of my three daughters will be my neighbors; but most importantly, having my sweet grandchildren a stone’s throw away.
I recently came across an article about things we can teach our grandchildren. It made me think of things I want my grands to remember about me telling, teaching or showing them. With their ages ranging from almost two to 10, I will be repeating some of these a number of times; but that just means more times I get to spend with them and, hopefully, educating them — a win-win situation!
History – It is amazing how many inventions have come along that have completely changed my life as a child to that of my grandchildren. While most have made lives easier, not all have made them better. I want to let my grands know more about our progression than what they learn in school. For example, how technology has invaded our lives to the detriment of quality family time.
Family History – I remember many tales my parents told me about my grandparents and, of course, memories I have regaled my daughters with involving my parents and grandparents. Thankfully, my maternal grandmother was very into genealogy, so we have my mother’s lineage traced back centuries. Unfortunately, my paternal grandmother didn’t have that same passion. I wish I knew more about that side of the family, but, maybe, this is something one or more of my grands and I can work on together when they are older.
New Skills – There are a number of skills that used to be front and center with the older generation. My mother was an excellent seamstress. I regret that I do not possess that talent, but I can teach them to knit, smock and make simple clothing repairs. We will have fun baking and cooking (my four-year-old grandson loves to do this). I would love to write stories with them and teach them songs to play on the piano. My father-in-law had a wonderful woodworking shop. My daughters loved making things with their Papa. It was time together, that besides learning a skill, brought them a special closeness. So many ways to keep them away from technology — at least for a while.
Wisdom – This does not have to be earth-shattering information. Imparting even simple life lessons are very important. We learn from our mistakes but also from our successes. I want my grandchildren to understand that failure is not the falling down but the staying down.
Humor – It is important for my grands to see my fun, silly side. I want them to know that I can laugh at myself and enjoy a harmless prank. They need to be able to laugh at themselves as well and find humor in many situations.
Listening – My four-year-old grandson was an early talker and we all joke that he hasn’t stopped since. My five-year-old granddaughter asks questions throughout a movie but hardly stops to hear an answer. Family stories, reading to them, teaching them not to interrupt, and having a give-and-take conversation will improve their listening skills — a wonderful skill to possess.
Fostering a relationship that includes emotional support will be a means for them to have a sounding board of someone who doesn’t spend every day with them, that listens and only gives advice when asked. It is the time spent together while imparting your knowledge and skills that will form a bond that may be the best lesson of all.