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When you are a grandma, you are your grandchild’s biggest supporter and cheerleader, possessing the superpowers of love and encouragement. You don’t need me to tell you that you only want the best for your grands and want nothing more than to bring out their greatness, but how do we do this?
For starters, keep doing what you already do (you know your grandkids and how to communicate with them best). To take it to the next level, try these 15 secrets that will unlock your grandchildren’s greatness!
1. Develop a heart of gratitude
Has anyone noticed that people today expect things to be done for them without paying attention to those doing the task? That doesn’t fly for this grandma, so I am working to instill a heart of gratitude in my grandkids by counting our blessings, sharing our thanks, and spreading joy wherever we go. Remember, a grateful heart is a happy heart!
2. Be a team player
When your team loses the big game, it may seem like the end of the world, but I am here to remind you it isn’t – especially when you’re a team player! I like to teach my grandkids good sportsmanship, beginning when they are young via board games and working up to organized sports, reminding them that winning isn’t everything, as friendships and memories genuinely matter.
3. ABC (Always Be Creative!)
Life calls for creative thinking and creative hobbies for pleasure and destressing. Teach your grandkids their ABCs – to always be creative! Unleash your grandchildren’s imaginations with arts, crafts, and DIY projects, and remind them that the possibilities are endless with a bit of creativity.
4. Cooking and baking can be fun
Sure, it’s fun to eat yummy foods, but making them yourself can be just as fun (and even more rewarding)! Teach the lifelong skill of cooking and baking during visits with the grands. Invite them to explore the kitchen, whipping up dishes that tickle their taste buds and impress their friends. Not only will you have special time together, but you can also pass down some of those family recipes!
5. …But so is healthy living!
Eating grandma’s famous double chocolate chip cookies is fine, but remember that moderation is key! A healthy lifestyle is so important, so I try to instill an early love of eating well (healthy food can taste good!), exercising, drinking lots of water, and getting adequate rest.
6. Cultivate a love of learning
Learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school day – in fact, that’s just the beginning! Learning is a lifelong experience that comes from doing, asking questions, and listening, an essential skill lost on many. To instill this in your grands early on, dive into books, explore museums, and chat about the world’s wonders. You’ll see that learning can be a lifelong adventure!
7. Mindfulness matters
We live in a fast-paced world, and sometimes it is good to stop and smell the roses… literally. Teach your grandkids and yourself to find peace in the moment by breathing in the fresh air and appreciating the beauty surrounding us. Ahhh…
8. Compassion is cool
We must look out for each other, whether old or young. Having a compassionate heart and showing the trait for others can make a massive difference in the lives of those around us. No matter the situation, demonstrate love, understanding, and patience – the world could use more of the above!
9. Hard work goes a long way
Things don’t come easy, so we must teach our grandkids early that hard work goes a long way. An easy way to teach this is to work on fun projects and chores with grandkids, showing them the importance of rolling up your sleeves and giving it your all. By doing this, you’ll show the grands that you can achieve anything with determination and a little elbow grease.
10. Speak up
Whether speaking in a public setting or with the cashier at the grocery store, speaking with poise, confidence, and humor is essential. You, grandma, can easily demonstrate this in how you talk to your grandchild and others.
11. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it is good for you
I mean it: It is good to be curious! Ask questions. Read more about it. Form your own opinions. Curiosity is a great thing that goes a LONG way!
12. Be resilient and always persevere!
I go into things expecting them not to work out so that I am not disappointed and am ready to work through the situation and move on. This doesn’t work for everyone (maybe it isn’t a healthy way to be, but I must say it has served me well!), but the point is to be resilient and preserve through things because not everything works out the first time. Give your grandchild different scenarios and ask how they would handle them to give them some practice and real-world knowledge.
13. Emotional intelligence is just as important as book smarts, if not more so
Book smarts have their place, but emotional intelligence will serve your grandchild well all day, every day. To demonstrate and instill this, you can explore feelings and teach healthy coping mechanisms to your grandchild so they know early on how to be emotionally intelligent.
14. You can fix all the things
Is the hem on your shirt ripped? I will teach you to sew it back together. When the sink leaks, we will get the tools (and watch the Youtube tutorials) to fix it. By the time we finish, you will be patching holes in the wall and refinishing furniture.
15. Patience is a virtue
Piggybacking off being resilient, knowing that good things take time and patience is essential. Whether being patient with yourself as you try something new or waiting for someone to do something, a little grace and understanding can go a long way. Remind your grandchild of this when things aren’t working out as quickly as they like, as it helps convey this message.
Aren’t we as grandmas so very lucky to have a front-row seat to our grandchildren’s lives and mold them into the people they will become? Keep doing what you are already doing. If you need extra help, I hope these tips do just that. Let’s talk again soon, my friends!