In case you were not aware, Grandparents Day is September 9, 2012.
I for one will be honoring this day. Although my "Grams" is gone now I was so fortunate to have
had her in my life. I cannot
over emphasize the important role she had in my personal development. In honor of Grandparent Day I would like to
share just one of the ways in which she influenced me.
I recently came across this quote:
“Love me when
I deserve it least because that’s when I need it the most.”
That’s exactly what my grandmother did. My “Grams” had a way of looking at me that
both nailed my behavior and said I love you at the same time. She didn’t even have to say a word. No preaching or scolding. Her look simply said, “I’m so sorry you screwed
up and I love you.” The reason this
was such an effective parenting tool was because it made it bearable to own up
and take responsibility for my actions.
In fact, it facilitated the process!
Kids typically know when they’ve done something wrong, but, what they often
don’t know is how to go about making things right again. Had my grandmother focused on making me feel
guilty or ashamed or on punishing me, I might have tried to deny my culpability
and protect my fragile ego. It’s very
hard to admit, “I’m wrong” when you’re in a corner and people are shouting at
you, “you’re wrong.” Instead, what my
grandmother did was give me room. She
allowed me space to contemplate my actions.
After a while I would go to her apologize and we’d talk about it. I would genuinely want to do better.
Incidentally, I never once had my old mistakes dredged up and placed before me
as evidence of my past failures. This
too instilled a sense of trust. Instead
of having to hide my mistakes from her, I had an adult I could go to without
losing my dignity. I’m not sure if my
Grams was aware of her “technique” but I certainly have adopted it years later
with my own children. Sometimes my
husband mistakes my reaction as no action until he sees the results. When he does he just shakes his head and
smiles. So, in honor of my grandmother
and all the grandparents out there teaching and loving children
unconditionally, I salute you. You
deserve to be honored!
|Me and my Grams under her favorite Cherry Blossom Tree|