For the grandmothers – with love



Image: © JackF / Fotolia

How to build good relationships with them?

How do people usually imagine the grandmothers? As a chubby, nice tempered old lady with grey hair, who wears glasses and knows a lot of fairytales and songs, she could make the tastiest pancakes in the whole world and she is always ready to listen and comfort her favorite grandchildren. At least this is the image we know from the fairytales, the movies and even the advertisements. But nowadays, our grannies are not the same that they used to be once. And despite that, they still are considered the closest people to children. Nowadays, a grandmother that takes care of a child during its whole childhood is a very rare phenomenon. The patriarchal family clans, where a few generations live under the same roof, are today long gone. The present grandmother often works, even builds a career, she looks like a TV presenter, she plans trips to other countries and she thinks of her life’s perspectives. So, why do we still pretend that the grandmother is the person who is going to devote her time, knowledge and efforts to our children?

 

Choosing the grandmother for our main helper in the raising and the disciplining of our children also has its advantages.

            ● Predictability. Sadly, each person changes in time. Your consistent in educating parent could have turned into a good-tempered woman who could shatter into pieces your pedagogical strategies.

● Reliability. She won’t escape to watch over her own offspring like your friend’s nanny. She won’t forget to feed the children, to remind them of the right way to behave. She will change the diapers of the baby on time and she will change the channel with the scary movie.

  • Home comfort. While your mother is taking care of the kids, you won’t worry how you are dressed and what subjects you are discussing. After all she is one of your closest people. You will feel really comfortable with her around you and you will avoid the discomfort of a nanny in your home.

● And of course, the delicate financial problem. Even if you help your mother with a little amount of money, she will cost you much less than a nanny.

 

But…

When we and our parents teach our children at the same time how to behave, we often have to face some obstacles. First of all most important is the difference between the two concepts “bad” and “good”. From the different points of view of the different people, there are often discrepancies about the behavior which depend on some psychological changes that have happened during the years.

What should we do?

● The first step is to work on the common educational strategy for the particular family. The parents should talk about it and decide what exactly bothers them in the grandmother’s way of educating the children.

If you don’t want grandma to ruin your children’s eating habits, just give her the products that you want her to use for your children’s meals. And of course, do not forget to tell her how grateful you are. Instead of arguing with her about the fried toasts, thank her about all the apples, vegetables and salads that she had given to your children. Be sure to brag to your friends (and if possible in the presence of the grandmother) about the right way that she takes care of your children. By doing this, the toasts might not disappear, but grandma for sure will start feeding her grandchildren with healthier food – more vegetables, fruits and soups.

● Discussing problems

You should make sure that you discuss with the grandmother your requirements and their implementation. Most importantly, you should talk to her respectfully and at the same time, tough enough, with no vague phrases. There is no need of hints and misunderstandings. You shouldn’t say: “please, be more stringent”, “we believe that our child should put its toys on place by itself”. But you should for sure mention: “I am delighted with how you managed to teach me to order and discipline and now that helps me so much in work”.

 

Principle: Advices and remarks, even with the nicest tone, should be given to the grandmother only by her own child. So, you should talk about the more delicate questions with your mother and your husband should talk about such with your mother-in-law. Praise and admiration could be seamlessly expressed by the whole family.

 

Double game

Sometimes, grandmothers agree to all your words, but at the same time do whatever they want. In that case, you should find out to what this “double game” playing owes. Maybe, the grandmother can not physically handle all these cares for the children, the way she handled it all in the times when she was younger. Sometimes the problem is not due to inconsistencies in understanding, but simply a lack of necessary habits. If you think that there is a big problem (like your child is fighting with other kids, or it is torturing animals), you should probably take a break and show your mother how she should take care of your children by spending more time with her.

The grandmother is the real fun in our childhood. Grandmothers see in their grandchildren the best qualities of their parents and that is why our grannies pamper us so much. But all that is due to the love they feel for us, which is sometimes even more than the one they feel for their own children. The mature age, the experience and the wisdom make the grandmother an important person in our family, especially for the raising of our children.

 

To be good, caring and loving – that is a gift, responsibility and a huge delight for every grandmother. And often the grandchildren recompense all these with their love and respect by remembering all the years they have spent with their grandmothers which were probably the best years of their childhood.



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