Wouldn’t it be wonderful if us grandmas never had to scold or say “no”? Grandparenting would instantly become three degrees grander if that were the case. At least, that is, if there were no need.
My four-year-old granddaughter, who is very small for her age, crawled up on my lap yesterday.
She had a big beautiful smile on her face, and her eyes sparkled solid-rotten.
The little stinker had a mouth full of chewing gum. Then, with a wide grin she let me see the gum she was chewing. All because she knew grandma’s rule is “no gum” in the house. Now, before you think I’m the wicked witch of grandmas, let me explain.
Having raised nine children of my own, and now with a stampede of grandchildren coming through, I have scrapped up my share of gum off my floors. Not to mention, digging it out of my carpet. So, that’s just something I don’t care to do anymore.
However, my husband loves to bribe the grandchildren anyway he can.
That usually entails chewing gum. Which brings us back to what happened yesterday.
I asked her, “Where did you get that gum?”
“Did your aunt give it to you?” I asked, as she was my first suspect.
“No” the munchkin replied. “Grandpa” did.
In spite of the little good cop/bad cop thing we’ve obviously got going on here, I think it is a good idea to set boundaries for our grandchildren.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about bringing in new rules in an attempt to teach them someting their parents are negelecting to teach. That’s not my intention. I’m talking about a code of conduct within your home.
As grandmas, our love-language is often giving gifts. It’s also just a little bit fun to break the rules with the children, especially if they are benign. Rules like staying up past a bedtime, chewing gum at grandma’s house, or an extra helping of dessert. We are just adding a little spice to their lives
However, if we overindulge ourselves by overindulging them when we allow bad behavior, we do more harm than good.
In raising my own children, I learned a very important lesson. You see, when you have a very large family, people tend to get overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. Dinner invitations cease after the third child. Storekeepers shutter when you walk through the door. That’s just the way it is.
Then one day I realized that my children needed to be very well-behaved, especially in public. It became important for them just to be accepted. When I began to concentrate on this very thing– a new world opened up to my children. Other adults actually wanted to be around them.
Friends that didn’t have grandchildren yet borrowed my children as their own grandchildren. They were blessed with more grandmas than nature could have given them.
We grandmas certainly have the ability to overlook bad behavior.
When we do, we short-change our grandchildren. Children want to know their boundires. Where they stand. What’s right and wrong.
When a child is well-behaved, you can see his true personality–and thoroughly enjoy the child within. Isn’t that all we really want?