Belinda note: Today’s post is from Mrs. Jane and please remember that she is our energetic 73yo grandmother. I value her perspective greatly as she’s not only raised her children but now observing her children raise their own children (her grandchildren).
This is really interesting to me because I love learning from her vast experiences and I hope you get some value and enjoyment from it too 🙂
People have asked my thoughts on how our children are bringing up their children.
What a minefield!
I can remember the worry we experienced when our children were young as to whom we would give the responsibility of caring and raising our children if we were no longer alive. Should it be our parents? Not practical as one couple lived interstate and were constantly travelling as well as being reluctant to accept the responsibility. The other couple were elderly and had medical problems.
What about our siblings? One brother was divorced and working overseas and our children barely knew him. The other brother was married to a screaming alcoholic who terrified our boys.
On the other side was a sister who ran her family like a drill sergeant and another sister who took offence at the slightest thing and one day would, the next day wouldn’t and made it very clear it would be a huge imposition. Where were the normal family members when you needed them?
We had to accept that no one will ever bring your children up exactly as you do. We fortunately had close friends, adored by our children, who were willing but it caused all sorts of angst within our families when it became known that “we preferred strangers to our own flesh and blood”. Fortunately the need never arose.
As to our thoughts on our children’s child raising abilities….my husband frequently remarked as we drove away that his tongue was sore from biting it. Our daughters-in-law are loving and caring but far less concerned with bedtimes (10pm Really?), involvement in chores and expectations of tidiness (no, the floor is not where you hang your clothes).
We quickly adopted the practice of only offering advice when asked and then never referring to it again if it wasn’t taken. We both clearly remembered how annoyed we were when our mothers regularly criticised our actions and attitudes.
The end result….our grandchildren have grown into delightful, interesting persons and we love spending time with them. We have a close relationship with our children who were fully aware and appreciative of the tongue-biting and the restraint we exercised when we were longing to tell them how to do it better.
As my granny used to sat “There’s more than one way to skin a cat ” and obviously there’s more than one way of bringing up children.
And if you don’t recognise that saying it dates back to the 1600s. However the Animal Rights Action Site informs me it is more politically correct these days to say “There’s more than one way to cook an egg”. It just doesn’t have the same ring somehow.