How can our children become wiser adults? – Part 1
Posted on: July 26, 2018.

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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A few decades ago, a family was a treasure-trove of wisdom, what with elderly adults illuminating the home with their potentials, galore. Uncles, aunts, older cousins and definitely grandparents had tons of qualities to share with the young children, who grew up simply watching and imitating them; all unconsciously though. Best today’s scenario sparks luck only into some families where grandparents coexist with their grandchildren. Geographical distances create a big emotional void in kids who live faraway from their grandparents. Who can but deny the untold bonding between grandparents and their grandchildren?

I can still fondly remember my holidays with the excitement of travelling all the way from North India to visit and stay with my grandparents in South India – one long month of shameless indulgence in their warmth and unconditional love. None else could give that. The relationship is a very special one – very divine, very ethereal. Grandparents act as an authority figure alright and yet provide the unconditional love that even we as adults crave for even today. Grandparents can get to spoil their grandkids in ways parents simply can’t! And imagine, the amount of incredible influence they could wieldon our kids!

Grandparents have lived through our kids’ history facts. Who better to talk to them and teach them about the Great Famine, the Great Drought, the Second World War and so on. Children may hate learning history in school books and from old pictures and paintings, but wouldn’t it be interesting if they learned it from someone who lived in that age? Personal stories are much easier to remember than lists of names and dates from books. Also, kids love knowing about family history and how their grandparents grew up in a time entirely different from their childhood!

I learnt the art of story-telling from my grandma and would attribute many of my housekeeping tips (to perfection!) to her. All children blessed to live with their grandparents pick up special skills or talents they possess. Many senior citizens grew up while learning skills like sewing, gardening, looking, farming, carpentry, book binding, making festival sweets and savouries, isn’t it? Such great things can be easily passed on to grandkids, as they may not be commonly taught anymore but still are useful talents to possess.

The older people had the need to be resourceful during their times, so they can teach kids how to upcycle things they might have discussed, discarded, or put away in the past.To get kids to become creative, we conduct a competition like ‘Best out of Waste’ and grandparents are the ones who shine. Life lessons can be taught best from grandparents. So too their advice because they have often lived through such experiences, quite often possibly. Knowing how they dealt with problems in their lives and knowing that they got through everything just fine, can make children feel as though they can get through everything.

What better way to talk to grandchildren other than picking up black-and-white pictures of unknown relatives. Grandparents are the ones who will know the right context…

…continued in the next part

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