Grandma Basics 101 Post #4
There are as many different kinds of grandmas as there are kinds of women … some are great grandmas, some are good grandmas, some glamorous grandmas, some Earth Mother grandmas, some grouchy grandmas, and some are uninterested and absent. Want to be the kind of grandmother that goes down in history as the best one EVER?
I am writing a series of 6 posts, each about a way of becoming that kind of grandparent … think of it as being enrolled in a basic course in grandmothering from the Gung Ho Grandma School of Awesomeness!
Here is the fourth post …
If you lived in the 1300’s, you really didn’t want to get the Black Plague.
It killed an estimated 75-200 million people in Europe. Buboes (swollen lymph nodes) would appear on your body which would ooze pus and bleed. That was followed by fever and vomiting of blood. Most victims died 2 to 7 days after being infected. Gross.
The Black Plague was definitely to be avoided if you wanted to live.
And as hard as you would have worked to avoid getting the plague in the 1300’s, try that hard to avoid comparing your grandchildren to others.
My little sister was always cuter than me, at least that is how people made me feel as a young girl. And she WAS terribly adorable … it was just hard to come out ahead in the comparison. People would compare us and comment on how cute she was and how we looked so different, her with her big dark eyes and elf-like face, while I kind of looked like a boring little boy, with my short pixie cut and freckled face. When my little sister and I were together, I sometimes felt invisible.
Making comparisons. There is a very interesting saying that always makes me pause and think …
As an elementary teacher I can tell you that every one of my little Grade 3 students were different … they had unique physical attributes, personalities, talents, strengths, weaknesses, intelligence in areas like reading/writing/math, social awareness, ways of looking at the world, sense of right and wrong, athletic abilities, sense of humor, cleanliness, innate kindness, and problem solving skills.
Wait a minute … that goes for ALL of us adults
… AND all of your grandchildren!
When my son Jacob was younger and would comment that he thought someone was little odd, I would always say to him,
“There has to be room in the world for everyone to be exactly how they are. However you are, that has to be okay.”
(Except for someone like Ted Bundy, that’s not okay. But you get the idea.)
This idea also applies to our grandchildren.
Recognize and celebrate the ways they are unique and special. Do not compare their abilities, appearance, intelligence, or talents to another grandchild. Never make comparisons to one grandchild about another grandchild or to other people.
Words like these should never our lips …
“Boy, you play the piano way better than your cousin.”
“Her older sister looks very different than her … The elder one could be a model.”
“Can you believe it, his younger brother reads so much better than he does.”
“My other son’s kids are so much better behaved than this son’s kids.”
“Be more like your cousin … don’t cry every time you don’t get your way.”
“She dances, but you should see what an amazing dancer her sister is.”
Comparisons like these make parents resentful and grandchildren feel unloved, and will hamper your ability to be the kind of gung ho grandma you want to be. Children are left feeling like they are less lovable or important.
However your grandchildren are, that has to be okay.
P.S. And please be kind to yourself … do not compare yourself with other grandmas. Try your best in what you can do, and support other women as they try their best. We are all learning to be the best grandmas we can be (and we often fall a little short).
However you are as a grandma, that has to be okay.
Have you ever made a mistake and compared your grandchildren? What happened? Please share it with us in the comments below so we can learn from each other.
And if you like this post, please share it with other grandmas (we have to stick together).