Well here we are,could anyone of us have predicted we would be back in the parent mode?. We have had our two grandchildren with us for almost three years now. If we said it was easy all the time, we all know that would not be a true statement.
One of the most important things we learned early on, actually came from our grandson. Not long after he arrived he presented us with a hand drawn picture of a heart with wings,that we hung on the kitchen wall. There were’ three words written above and below’ the heart, Those three words were “Love and Respect”. He had come from a’ home where he had received love,as much as they were capable of giving,but respect was another story.We soon’ realized’ that’ each one of’ us no matter our age not only’ craves but deserves to be loved and’ respected. But there are some things that are required of all us first.:
1. If we expect anyone to have respect for us, we must also have respect for them.
2. Set a Good’ example and always try to keep your word and expect the same from them.
3.Try to explain our reasons besides, because I said so. We like’ to know why and so do they.
4.Let them know they are loved,no matter what. They need a lot of reassurance.
5.Give hugs whenever you can. Teenagers may act like they don’t like them, but most of them really do. Be willing to receive hugs even when it’s not at good time. It’s a reassurance thing too.
6.Give them something to believe in,share your faith with them. They need to know what your beliefs are so they can begin to form their own.
7. Allow them to have dreams,even if they seen unrealistic to you,we never know what they can achieve.
Don’t forget to share your dreams with them.
8. Be a good listener,they don’t always need our advice,just someone to listen to them.
9. Be patient,it takes time,we are all set in our ways.
10.Don’t be to hard on yourself,and don’t let them be too hard on themselves.
We can’t expect our grandchildren to be any of these things,if we are not. It takes a long time to build up the trust that leads to respect, in fact we still refer to that drawing on the wall, when one’ of us is not’ showing the’ love or respect that we should.
Our two came to us at the ages of eight and thirteen, the younger the child the easier it should be guide them, because they should have fewer preconceived ideas,but each child is different.
One of the things’ we’ have found’ that’ we feel we have missed out on is, that’ by being in this position we are’ having to forfeit being the, spoil them and send them home grandparents. Even though we all give in sometimes,old habits are hard to break. Guess what…they are coming home with us and who wants a spoiled kid living’ at’ your house. Always remember you can never love them too much,they need to know you mean it and a’ good sense of humor can make a world’ difference.