(3.2 minute read plus links)
How often do we mess up, even when doing our best?
I have some not so good memories from my beloved grandparents house, yet I reflect no less affectionately and lovingly. You see, I realize they did the best they could, and in most ways were FABULOUS. All of their grand-daughters referred to them as "Best Grannie and Grandpa in the whole world," and we put that on their tombstone!
Here was the scenario:
Grandpa sat silent and stoic. He smoked his pipe, read his Bible, and grinned at us once in a while. When I became more adult like, I would sit with him and have WONDERFUL conversations about God's word with him.
Grannie did all the work, and had all the FUN with us kids. She clowned around with us. She tolerated our foolishness, and all the while, was the quilting queen, and cooking/dishwashing machine.
She was brave, committed, daring enough to have FOUR grand-daughters stay with her at once (3 were teens), and this is where the bad memory comes from. My two cousins were adopted, and I can tell you that my sister and I loved them NO DIFFERENTLY. When I was little, I remember CRYING EVERY time they had to load up in the car with their family and return to their home 7 hours away from us.
But three teens and one pre-teen with no strong supervision or leadership, and we resorted to some ugly, sinful, selfish behavior between us. Not my sister, the youngest. She tagged along. Poor kid. We were not always good examples of gracious kindness. It pains me to remember what we said to each other, at our worst, though I know God forgives.
Poor Grannie, lacked understanding or wisdom to confront us about our behavior. She ignored it?
Maybe that contributed to the escalation that led to some fist fighting. Worse than monkeys!! All Grannie did was threaten to call the police. Lucky police.
Somehow they stopped. I don't remember if Grannie sprayed water on them with the water hose or what. I remember one of the fights was outside in the backyard.
Poor Grannie. Her blood pressure must have gone up like crazy.
Yet she was in this situation because she loved us. She loved to have us around. She wanted us to have cousin time together..... The fights were one particular summer. No summer was that bad before, and no summer was that bad again.
Teens and LOVE, survived and grew.
I wonder why we were so mean to each other.
Why were the two going to fist city?
I have handled hundreds and hundreds of children over the years of being an elementary teacher in the public school system. I have handled some hurt feelings, rude inconsiderate behavior, anger and rebellion.
I always seemed to do better or make more progress with my students if I demonstrated care and respect for their FEELINGS whether or not I initially understood. I always found LISTENING and getting them to talk, was a productive path. Sometimes talking after a cooling off period, helped.
I am reminded of the fabulous advice that I recently found in my blogger friend Melissa's blog "Humble Faith Family Wellness." A professional mental health therapist and family counselor, she explains FEELINGS as key to BEHAVIOR, and gives insight to handling BEHAVIORS, in these amazing articles. She is a Christian, and she is raising two small children of her own. I am grateful to have found her, and hope that you will visit these 2 links !!
Go back and read, and re-read, take notes, and please SHARE with the tiny icons below by the date to try and spread real HOPE for the difficult parenting and grandparenting situation that loving parents and grandparents may face:
Let's do our best to HELP the teens and wee-ones to live in peace, love, and Sonshine.
Blessings in Christ,
Grandma Mary Martha💖