Do grandparents have the responsibility to teach and nurture? I hear this often and think of this often, and I believe the answer to be YES! We do have a responsibility to nurture and teach them. Nurture means to care for and encourage the growth or development of someone.
Teach, of course means to share our knowledge and teach someone else. We as grandparents can easily do both of these. We can care for them and encourage them, and we can teach them. We really are only concerned with their development and long term happiness. We can do this!
Of course the primary responsibility lies with the parents teachings, but realistically now – many parents can’t even figure out their own lives, let alone try to teach their children.
Now I don’t mean all parents, and I most certainly am making a broad generalization, due to the fact that the divorce rate, drugs and alcohol abuse, the child abuse, the latch key children, and on and on, in our society today are all at extreme high rates. Most are at all time highs in the history of the world! Who is
watching over their children while they mess up their lives? YES as grandparents we have a responsibility to help, and we will pay the price dearly if we don’t.
What kind of people do we want leading the world when we are older? Well, this is the kind of people we need to be helping our grandchildren to become.
I think that our grandchildren need a safe place to come to when sometimes life might seem to fall apart at home. If we start when they are first born, we can hopefully build a bond with them, which will allow them to be comfortable coming to us with their problems. Kids really need a safe place to come to where they know they are loved no matter what. If they can’t find it at home, or at grandma’s, they will find it out there on the streets, and it won’t likely be a pretty situation.
There are a few things that we can do with them, and teach them.
- teach them to love reading – to understand that their are really good books out there, they teach good values. I also find that kids that love to read quality books and understand the value of this, are less often likely to get mixed up with “the wrong crowd”, because they usually are thinkers and can differentiate between good and bad
- teach them some skills, some hobbies – help them find things that they love that will keep them busy. Idleness is usually at the root of kids getting into trouble. If they have too much idle time, they will find things to fill it, and it will probably be exactly what we don’t want them to do
- teach them about the importance of family – this is a really hard one today because unfortunately our world doesn’t hold family quite as valuable as it used to be. We need to teach them that it is the most valuable thing that we have and to hold on to it tight and don’t let anyone destroy it. We need to show them how, and let them feel our love
- teach them respect, values, and manners – I find that all three of these things are greatly lacking in the schools today. They are lacking within families today, even good strong families. There is no place for disrespect. There is no place for rudeness and bad manners. These things all run rampant in our society, and we need to help our grandchildren to understand that they are not okay.
There are so many other things that will be more specific to teaching our grandchildren. And each child is different in their needs and wants, so let’s be flexible and open to be able to teach what ever they need us to teach them. Listen to what they have to say, and teach accordingly.
Often when we are parents, we are so deep into the chaos of raising our children that we don’t realize how fast time is going away. I find that more and more as I have become a grandma, I am realizing just how quickly that time goes, and how precious it is. There are a very few small years that we will have a great influence in the lives of our grandchildren, and then they will be “too old” to want to learn any more, because they will know it all! We really don’t have time to throw away on things that don’t matter. We need to take all of those special teaching
moments and make them count. They need to count in a good way, of course, with love, kindness, and tenderness. Children learn way better when taught like this, than taught with a harsh and strict voice. Love them. Teach them. Help them. They really are our future and we really will depend on them someday.