Grandchildren often think grandmothers are the most wonderful women on the face of the earth. But I wonder if my kids ever think, “That’s not the same woman who raised me!”
Windows wide open to soft gentle breezes…it was springtime! My favorite time of year. And what better time to do spring cleaning? “But what does spring cleaning have to do with grandkids?” Well, read on!
A couple of years ago, I was in the midst of my pulizie di Pasqua (Spring cleaning). And a major de-cluttering campaign as well. So I took a few things over to my daughter’s house, including a used, padded envelope, which my four-year old granddaughter promptly started ripping apart.
But I didn’t notice, so engrossed was I in of my son-in-law’s escapade of falling up the stairs. Yes, he really fell up the stairs—he’s a very talented guy! “What are you doing?” I eventually asked her.
And in a tone which clearly stated, You should know what I’m doing; it’s perfectly logical. She responded “I’m trying to get to the bubbles.” It never occurred to her she was doing wrong. Her one thought was getting to pop those prized bubbles! Upon learning why I’d brought the envelope, a worried frown appeared, as she gaped at the now shredded envelope. “Oh, I’m sorry Nonna!”
Yes, I’m sure my children sometimes think, “This is not the woman who raised me!”
But one of the advantages of being a grandparent is not having to worry over ‘raising them right’.
We don’t have to discipline, but the get the fun of just enjoying them. And perhaps that enables me to step back and see things from a more logical viewpoint. For to my remorse, I wasn’t always a logical parent. I probably would have made a big issue over that envelope. And a stupid little envelope isn’t really that big a deal.
Not that children should do whatever they want, or be raised without discipline. They need to learn right from wrong. But she didn’t think she was doing wrong. She wasn’t trying to disobey. She was just being four, and didn’t think to ask.
I have to agree with my kids. “I’m not the same woman they grew up with.”
Unfortunately we go into parenting without experience. And back then there was little teaching on how to raise a family. We were somehow just supposed to know how. And, I didn’t have the advantage of looking at situations from a bit of distance. From the viewpoint of a grandparent.
STEP BACK AND TRY TO SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY BEFORE TAKING DISCIPLINARY ACTION.
- Leave the room if you need to.
- Count to 10, or 20, or as high as necessary!
- Think it through for a moment, and try to see the child’s point of view.
A little padded envelope torn apart. Not to misbehave, but to get the bubbles. An envelope that would just get tossed in the end. Definitely not a big deal.
But harsh actions & words towards tender hearts are a big deal that linger in young minds and hearts for a lifetime.
So what did I say to my granddaughter? “Enjoy your bubbles! Spring cleaning in Italy, a granddaughter, and a padded envelope helped me change perspective. And Mom, you can do it too!
JUST STEP BACK AND CHANGE PERSPECTIVE. IT CAN HELP GET TO THE POINT OF JUST SAYING “ENJOY YOUR BUBBLES!”