Were Your Parents Good Grandparents?
Susan Day from the Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing, confesses that her mother wasn’t much support as grandparent to her two children.
It is important that we learn from our parents, to maximise the best of what we have to offer our grandchildren and don’t repeat the same mistakes.
The Cyclone Method of Grandparenting
When my mother came to stay it was like a cyclone had entered the house. She managed to disrupt every aspect of our home both physically and emotionally.
She managed to leave all manner of strange things littered all over the house. I would find a hairbrush in the laundry, plastic bags lying on the floor, and packets of biscuits in the lounge area. She undermined my authority – what little I had – and riled the children up into a frenzy. She could do all this in a matter of hours, and then leave.
As you can imagine it wasn’t easy. I had a mess to clean up, which said a lot to me about what little respect she had. As well, it took several days for the children to become calm and settled again after she had left. I was also emotionally drained, and would dread the day she came back.
I tried not to react or over react, and bumbled through it until my children were old enough to stay at her house overnight. It was at this time that her behavior settled down, as she was faced with dealing with the consequences of their hyperactive behavior on her own.
Nonetheless, my mother was incredibly generous and kind, although not always thoughtful. She always brought presents, and would pay for meals when we went out. She would pay and never take any money not matter how often I offered.
Funny and Generous too
Also, my mother was good fun. She had the most wonderful sense of humor, which she wasn’t shy about sharing everywhere we went. She would often relate stories about what things were like when she was growing up, and tears of laughter would be streaming down her face. Even when dementia took hold of her mind, and she became confused and forgetful, she always relished sharing these stories.
No Role Model of Her Own
To be fair she didn’t have a positive role model. She spoke about her grandmother as being a distant, demanding figure who never said a kind word, but expected so much from her mother. When I take into account the extreme poverty in which she grew up, and the emotional deprivation, I am surprised she turned out so level-headed.
I know now that she was doing what she thought was best. She was trying to make her mark, and be a positive influence. What she lacked were the skills to make her visits a win / win situation for the whole family.
The reason I wrote Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing was to help others become more aware of how they can make a positive impact in the lives of their grandchildren, right now.
You don’t want to learn as you go, and always be second guessing yourself. When you complete your Grandparenting Philosophy you’ll have something to work from which will provide you with direction and support.
Were your parents great grandparents? If so, share your story in the box below.