As grandparents, it is our job to love and support our grandchildren and children through their struggles, but to refrain from solving their problems for them. (No matter how much we are tempted.). In doing so, we equip them with insight from their struggles and failures in order to become stronger. Our goal as grandparents and parents is to encourage our children to think as big as they can, work for nothing less than the best, to have courage and, most importantly, to be kind! Grandparenting is all about contributing to the evolution of relationships.
Here are 7 tips we think are worthwhile to consider:*
To be successful, our grandchildren and children must understand the value that others hold in their lives and show them that fundamental to happiness and success are healthy, supportive and successful relationships. Encourage them to get involved in extracurricular activities. Give them chores and responsibilities in the home as ways to garner a sense of teamwork into their repertoire of life skills. The value of teamwork helps to keep our grandchildren and children from being self-centered and entitled.
Personal power and complacency cannot co-exist. It’s important there exists a clear difference — where an individual can take a minute to feel unrestricted from the weight of their responsibilities. The easiest way to balance work-life for our grandchildren and children is to require they put their responsibilities first and free-time second. When we teach our grandchildren/children to set high standards in all areas of their lives, they will come to see that their hard work rewards their free-time and vice versa.
3. Seeing possibilities where others see problems
We can approach life’s challenges with a belief in solutions, which encourages the creative process of examining and architecting alternate routes up the mountain so to speak. Being solution-focused safeguards our grandchildren and children from defeatist thinking. It is our job to teach them that if they cannot find a solution, they must open their mind, seek the advice of others and apply new ideas and suggestions until barriers are removed and their problem is solved. When we parent in this way, our grandchildren/children learn that life is full of possibilities.
One of the best ways to keep our grandchildren motivated is to teach them to write things down as a method of defining their goals and direction, of course when age appropriate.
5. Time management
One of the most important values we teach our grandchildren/children is ‘the power of now.’ When our grandchildren get caught in the small non-urgent tasks, it pulls them away from the more important aims requiring their attention. After all, no one likes dealing with people who are chronically late.
6. Accepting responsibility
For our grandchildren/children to be and feel successful, it is helpful to understand that whatever happens in their life or career, the best path to follow is always to take responsibility for the outcomes, both positive and the negative, which are the result of their efforts. If a mistake is made, encourage them to see their mistake as a self-created learning experience. Taking responsibility allows our children to learn the value of humility and to be flexible enough in their thinking to change their approach whenever necessary.
There is no greater a value to teach our children than the value of kindness. We must encourage children to be kind to themselves, as they can be so hard on themselves when things are a challenge. As grandparents and parents, we want to create an emotional environment filled with kindness that is infectious, contagious and advantageous to children of all ages. Kindness will certainly take our children further in life than any other human characteristic.
*Portions of article sourced from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/316811