My granddaughter has great parents and also great grandparents, and we all do things differently.
As parents, we love our children and also are responsible for emotional intelligence training and also character training! We want them to grow up to be responsible adults, contributing members of society, who have satisfying work and relationships.
We have our values and we try and instill them in our children, but they vary. In my own family, I was excused from household chores if I was doing homework or reading a good book. Learning and getting good grades were very important to my parents. My client Sara’s parents were farmers. They yanked books out of her hand and told her to go milk cows. She tells me she read books under the covers in bed at night.
Some of the things we want them to learn, and it requires time, energy, patience and repetition. It would be much easier for us to pick up our child’s toys from the living room, but we want them to learn this life skill.
But how much time does it take for a child to catch on? And what happens when a child leaves the parents’ home and goes to Nana’s, a different “culture”?
I’ve discovered with my own grandchild, she quickly changes when she’s with me and remembers everything! When she returns home she tests again to see if those rules are still the same, and then she adjusts back. We do things differently, though not drastically.
For instance, when she’s with me, she has chores to do every morning. After breakfast and before we do anything “fun,” we do chores and she has her things to do. At home, she’s supposed to eat her meat, vegetables and fruit. I don’t always serve meat for dinner!
When she goes back home, of course she doesn’t ask for chores in the morning! But when I come to visit, she wakes me up in the morning and says, “What chore am I supposed to do, Nana?” I remind her she's home, and there are no morning chores.
She is separating out the important people in her life, and how it’s different, and she’s right on top of things!
I used to bathe my kids in the kitchen or bathroom sink. It was easier on my back and now that I’m older, it’s also easier on my knees. Last time the grandkids were here, I put my 2 year old grandson in the kitchen sink for his bath. It was the first thing he announced when his mother came back home. “Nana bathe James in sink. White sink.” If he should ask for this at home, I’m sure his mom will say, “No, here you take your bath in the bathtub!”
Kids are smart and they’re flexible. They’ll sort it out. They learn quickly, but they also unlearn quickly.
The EQ Coach
By: Susan Dunn * firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted by: Susan Dunn *
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