A good friend of mine is a teacher. According to her, if you will teach your child just a few things, she can do the rest. It’s hard to let our grandchildren learn painful life lessons on their own. When a grandchild is born, our DNA changes.
There are few things we want to pass down to our grandchildren more than our own life lessons.
However, there’s a good chance we sabotage ourselves. We know there are character traits that are important in the adult world. And yet, for many of us, we unwittingly create just the opposite in our grandchildren.
Here are a few examples.
The world does not revolve around you.
When a child runs the household, you can be sure adult life is going to get rough. Even if they don’t get away with it at home, they might get away with it at grandma’s house. Do you pamper your grandchild to the point they feel that they can do no wrong? If so, you are not showing them love–even though that’s your intent. What’s happening is you are setting them up for real heartache. Real love is sacrificial. If you aren’t showing them that love means making sacrifices– you’re not teaching them love.
The “You break it, you bought it rule.”
Perhaps the most important life lesson anyone can learn is that there are consequences to every decision. When we don’t allow our children to suffer the consequences of their actions, again, we are setting them up. Bigger, more hurtful consequences are in their future. The jails are filled with grown men, that were once little boys who never felt the sting of consequences. Until now.
Life Isn’t Fair. And That’s Ok.
Yeah. This one is hard. Do you try to keep everything fair?
I know grandparents that will not bring a birthday present for the birthday girl, without bringing presents for her siblings. Just to make it fair.
Life is not fair. In fact, it’s far from fair. The best life lesson we can teach our grandchildren is not only is life not fair, but it swings both ways. Sometimes it won’t be “fair” that you got invited to someone’s party, and your little sister did not.
“Fair” is not the same as justice. We strive for justice. But life, in general, is not fair. It’s not fair that someone gets sick and another doesn’t. Nor is it fair that one person gets to grow up with both parents, and another doesn’t.
When we set expectations firmly, in reality, hope isn’t dashed to pieces. We start by not trying to level the playing field– just because we wish it were so.
My teacher friend explained if we can teach our children these things–she can teach them anything.