Grandma's Pearls

I would like to invite you to join me on a journey. On November 1st, 2003, my mother died of pancreatic cancer. Her passing meant not just that I had lost a cherished family member, or that our community had lost a compassionate human being, but as a grandma she had a plethora of "pearls" on nearly any topic of child rearing, and these were gone with her as well. When I became a pediatrician in 1988, I would tap into her common-sense knowledge on a regular basis. Through the years, I found that many of my pediatric patients' grandparents enjoyed sharing their words of wisdom with me in my office, and I found these pearls especially valuable when I started my own family over ten years ago.

The journey I'm proposing is a shared attempt to capture this vast collection of accumulated wisdom on my blog. "Grandma's Pearl's" will celebrate a very special group of individuals who deserve to have a forum for sharing their hard-earned life lessons with others. It will be a compilation of advice from grandparents from all walks of life...capturing the insights of the grandparent-next-door, to the still-out-in-the workforce grandparent, to more.

My hope is that "Grandma's Pearls" will be a ray of inspiration for both new parents and experienced parents alike. Not a "how-to" manual on baby care, but rather a collection of practical, no-nonsense tips on how to raise good kids. You can share a couple of sentences, a paragraph, or a full-blown story if you'd like. I welcome you to share your pearls of wisdom and wit with the world!

Questions (these are suggestions only)....substitute in "dad, grandfather," etc. where appropriate:

  1. What tips do you (or passed down from your mother, mother-in-law, or grandmother) have on raising caring, happy, responsible, and well-adjusted kids?

  2. What did you (or your mom) do right, and/or what could have been done better?

  3. Was there a transforming moment in your (or your mom's) life that served as a guide in raising children? As a result of this moment, is there a "pearl" to pass on?

  4. Do you have a favorite "grandmotherly" quote that has helped you in parenting your children?

To submit a "pearl" click on:



Saturday, January 27, 2007

Joan and Bert's Story

"One thing we have found difficult to admit is that our grandchildren have terrible manners. They don't make their beds, they aren't cheerful in the mornings, they don't look people in the eye when they are introduced to them, and they never write or call to express thanks for Christmas and birthday presents. How's that for starters? They live in poverty circumstances with a foster mother, but we do spend a lot of time with them out here in California. They do much better when they are with us, but they revert back once they leave. In talking with other grandparents, we are not alone.

The one thing I encourage parents to do is to let their children understand that we live in a society of give and take. It's not a one-sided, "we give...they take." Several of our friends, even the wealthy ones, are appalled at the manners of some of their grandchildren, so manners and common courtesy seem to be a more prevalent problem than we had imagined. Our advice is to keep the children as close to the grandparents as possible. Don't be afraid to stand up for the grandparents' rights in helping them grow up sensibly.

If other grandparents have any ideas for what amounts to long-distance grandparenting, we would love to know."