Thursday, August 30, 2012

In Honor of Grandparents Day Sept. 9

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


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