Lessons from your Grandchildren: Grandkids have a lot to teach their Grandparents, so get close, give them a chance and see what you can learn!
Grandparents: You can learn important lessons from your Grandchildren!
As a Grandparent, you have skills. You’ve been around the block a time or two and have a lot of knowledge and insight. You are logical (usually, right?) and have the ability to solve your own problems. Having navigated through rough times, crazy times, fun times and sad times, you are a well-seasoned, smart cookie! Kids can learn a lot from you, their Grandparents.
However, Grandparents, you are adults – set in your ways, schooled in a different era, and maybe a little cynical, skeptical or distracted. An occasional reminder of your blessings, learning a new skill, or seeing things from a new perspective is just what the doctor ordered. Take a look at this list and see what your Grandchildren can teach you.
Here are some lessons from older Grandkids.
How to use a smartphone
This one is from experience. My 80+-year-old Mom has learned to text, post on Facebook, browse Instagram, check her email and even knows how to use emojis. Her two youngest granddaughters taught her a lot of tricks and patiently explained the ins and outs of smartphones. She is pretty much a professional now! And she keeps up with all her Grandchildren by being so techy. They know Grandma will text them back, usually pretty quickly, too, since her phone is almost always right there beside her.
How to play games online
Playing board games with your Grandkids is great if they are visiting in person. But if you are long-distance Grandparents, learning a few online games and challenging your Grands is a great way to stay connected. Words with Friends, Ruzzle or even an Xbox game gives you a chance to connect with them and share some fun together.
Keep you up-to-date on current trends
Grandkids can clue you in on what’s in style, what’s happening in their school, things their friends are interested in, and how they see their world. Understanding these pieces of their lives gives you an opportunity to connect with them in a way they can appreciate. Your advice and opinions will be more readily accepted when Grandkids know you really see them and their circumstances. Stay up-to-date on current trends and events through communication with your Grands.
And no matter their age, you can learn these lessons from any of your Grandchildren.
See the world with more innocent eyes
Through the eyes of a child, the world is amazing and beautiful. There are no preconceived ideas – about the nature of people; they see everyone as good until they’re proven otherwise – or about the likelihood of a certain outcome; they believe if you say you’ll read that book to them later, you will. Children expect the good in people. They don’t see the ugliness. Let them teach you how to believe again. Lose the cynicism and skeptic nature. Put your rose-colored glasses back on once in a while. It can be so refreshing and you may even end up with happy surprises.
Keep asking questions, don’t stop learning
Your Grandchildren’s brains are like sponges. They are absorbing every little detail around them, learning to walk, to talk, and to socialize. They are curious minis that continue asking “Why, Grandma?”. “How does that work?”. “What is that for?”. Learn from your Grandchildren and their wondering minds. Continue to ask questions and seek answers. You’re never too old to learn. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Have you ever paid attention to that baby who is learning to crawl? How many times does she plop down, only to get up on her knees and try again? My granddaughter was putting a Lego Barbie set together. The pieces kept falling apart. The level of difficulty, the unclear instructions, the input from little brother, all could have led to throwing her hands in the air and giving up. But she didn’t. She knew she was capable and she was determined to get it done. And she did! Learn this lesson from your Grandchild: when life gets hard, things are difficult, others try to give advice, be determined. Don’t give up. Believe in yourself and your capabilities.
How to have fun
Grandchildren have a way of turning the most boring times into fun times. Play games together, even if you haven’t had the washers or Monopoly game out in years. Play outside, go to the park or try the hula-hoop. Make up your own songs. (Good memories can be created with music – read more about that here.) With all the responsibilities of life, you can forget how to play. Learn how to have fun: take lessons from your Grandchildren. They don’t have to be present for you to start having fun again.
Lose some of your inhibitions
It’s really ok to try your hand at things you think maybe you shouldn’t attempt. Like going down the slide at the park or sledding down the hill. Take your Grands to the mall and wear funny hats. Dress up with them at Halloween, get your swimsuit on and sit with them in the backyard wading pool. Play in the sprinkler. Let your Grands teach you that it’s ok to push beyond your comfort zone.
Grandparents sometimes talk about the “good old days”. Remember when things were easier, life was less complicated., and happiness was abundant? Kids can have fun with a cardboard box. A scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day is scrumptious. Nothing beats petting the puppy, throwing rocks in the river, and an RC Cola and a Moon Pie. Learn from your Grands: slow down, have a tea party on the porch, or catch frogs at the pond. Simple really is better.
Life isn’t always so serious
There are times in your life that you have to be serious. Fun and giggles are just not appropriate. But for those other times, smile and laugh! Kids laugh easily. Any little thing can be hilarious. Sometimes they don’t even know why they are laughing! Just thinking about my silly Grands makes me smile. How about you? Check here for ways to increase the laughter in your life. Take lessons from your Grandchildren. Laughter really is the best medicine!
You know that Grandchildren are sometimes, well, mostly IMpatient. And here I am talking to you about learning patience from them. Here’s how: caring for them, playing with them, and listening to them requires you to develop patience. Being ready for them to walk or use the potty on their own before they’re ready requires patience. Waiting for their phone call, waiting for them to tie their own shoes, or letting them change their mind six times deciding what bow to wear requires you to have patience. One of the big lessons I’ve learned from Grandchildren is patience. I can wait. So can you. Take the time to learn patience.
The cycle of life
Becoming a Grandparent for the first time, realizing you’ve become the “older” generation, holding that new baby and marveling at “how small he is”, all bring it home. The cycle of life. You can see it now. You’ve taken your place on the other end of the cycle. Grandchildren reinforce the thing you’ve known all along. There is a beginning, middle and an end. For some, the cycle was never completed because they were gone too soon. Learn this lesson from your Grandchildren who are just beginning their lives: Be grateful that you’re able to experience this phase of your life and that they are a part of it.
How to love unconditionally
And finally, Grandchildren can love unconditionally, no strings attached. Appreciate their love from the beginning, and continue to earn it. Grands begin life tolerant of others, accepting of differences and blind to shortcomings. Continue to be a stable force in your Grandchild’s life, and nurture this love. Learn lessons from your Grandkids on how to love unconditionally – your family, your friends, your neighbors and the world.
There’s a lot to learn!
You would think, with your many years on this earth, that you have already learned these lessons. And you have, most likely. This is to nudge you, encourage you, and remind you of the lessons to be learned from your Grandchildren. Open up and take the opportunity to learn all you can from the little ones in your life.
What lessons have your Grandchildren taught you? Feel free to share your feelings in the comment section below.