17 December 2019
Best lessons to teach your grandchildren
Grandparents play an important role in a child’s life; not only do children grow up to cherish the fun memories they had with their grandma and grandpa, but they will also hold onto the life lessons they learnt from their older relatives for years to come. Despite growing up in different times, and that you may even be retired and have installed a UK stairlift in your home, there is still plenty of common ground you can find with your grandchildren when you teach them timeless life lessons. In this guide, we reveal some of the best things you can pass onto the younger members of your family.
Appreciate the little things
Throughout your childhood, teenage years and even your 20s, it can be easy to be caught up in the everyday stresses and the worries about the future. However, grandparents more than anyone know that small day-to-day problems won’t even cross your mind in the years to come.
We spoke to Je’Ana from the lifestyle blog Shades of Tatiana, who says: “The most valuable lesson to teach a grandchild is to appreciate the little things in life. As human beings, we tend to take things for granted. You need to focus on what you have and not what you want. It is always important to appreciate the little things that matter and that makes your life pleasant, even if it’s small. Once you achieve this, you will begin to view the world and your own life in a whole new light!”
Time is not infinite
It’s easy to forget when you’re young that you won’t always have an abundance of time. Teaching your grandchildren to make better use of their spare time is invaluable, as they may think wasting hours in front of the TV or scrolling on social media is time well spent, but there are plenty of more fulfilling and productive things they could be doing.
Je’Ana adds: “My grandmother is a wise woman who lived a very adventurous and happy life along with several hardships. She always taught me that no one lasts forever, and that time is not infinite. Life is too short to be sad and the world is too big to miss out on any opportunities. This is something I carry every day with me and has inspired me to take chances throughout my life.”
Teaching your grandchild how to be confident will aid them in all aspects of life. This is a lesson that Christine from Life with Christine suggests: “A valuable lesson that I would teach to my grandchildren would be to love themselves. Be happy and confident in the person that they are. To love and respect themselves and know that they are loved and respected by me and their family. With that in place, they will develop confidence and support to reach for their dreams.”
It's ok to make mistakes
Mistakes are a necessary part of life, and although it can seem like the end of the world at the time after years go by, you can quite often see how that mistake led you on the right path. Telling your grandchild that they shouldn’t feel discouraged to try to achieve something because they might fail is a lesson that will help them throughout their life.
Christine continues: “I would also tell them that a problem shared is a problem halved and that no matter how terrible the situation to always know that I will be there to help them through it as best I can. That we have to make mistakes in order to learn from them and that learning from mistakes is what makes us stronger and more knowledgeable.”
Teach them a skill
If you have a hobby that you enjoy, whether it’s baking, woodwork, crocheting or any other interests, why not spend some time teaching it to your grandchildren? This will provide some excellent bonding time, plus, they will think back to fond memories of your time together when doing the activity in the future. It doesn’t need to be a complicated hobby; it could be as simple as teaching them how to shuffle a pack of cards or how to bake cupcakes.
We spoke to Nellie Williams about her fond memories with her grandmothers: “My grandmothers were my champions, teachers, soothers, listeners. One was stern and spoke in hushed tones, the other was loud and not stern with me, one glance from them was enough to say stop right now or go on. A trip to stay at Granny’s was a treat, it didn’t matter which one - there was no favourite. One taught me to sew, one taught me to knit, both taught me to cook and both sadly died before I really got the chance to share the next generation with them as a young mother myself.”
You will always have support
A valuable lesson to teach your grandchild is that there will always be someone to support them, whether it’s you, other members of the family or teachers. No matter what problems they face, a lending hand is never too far away.
This is another lesson suggested by Christine: “My grandmother had a hard life as a single parent raising three children and she taught me that the small things didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. She taught me that her love and support was always there no matter how many times I messed up and that it didn’t change how she felt about me. Her love was unconditional and always would be.
How to be smart with money
These days money can be so easily spent but not so easily earned, so it’s a worthwhile lesson to teach your grandchildren how to be clever with money, which can go beyond ‘don’t spend all of your pocket money at once!’ One of the best tips to pass onto your grandchild is the power of a delicious home-cooked meal, which lessens the temptation of constantly going out for dinner. No matter what age your grandchildren are, get them involved in your cooking, even if they just stir the ingredients together.
Be present with those around you
With more of the younger generation seemingly glued to their phones, it’s essential to teach your grandchildren to be present and engage in conversation with those around them. Socialising is a skill that shouldn’t be overlooked, so even if you must be stern with the ‘no phones at the dinner table’ rule, your grandchildren will be grateful one day.
Let them teach you
Although you may be older and wiser, there are still plenty of things you can learn yourself from your grandchildren. Ask about what they have been learning about in school or how they work the latest tech gadget, as not only will you learn something new, it’s a great way to bond and spend quality time together.
So, despite being older and perhaps relying on a stairlift for your home, you can still find common ground with your grandchildren and teach them lessons that they will carry with them for years to come.