Our society is spreading out and missing out! So many of us live a great distance from our parents now and far from aunts and uncles who can speak into our children’s lives and offer support in our childrearing. That’s such a shame but c’est la vie. That’s how it goes in a culture that moves where the jobs and opportunities are. We are a culture on the go, aren’t we?
“Back in the day” it wasn’t unusual to find aunts, uncles, cousins and certainly grandparents nearby if not on the same block or even, in some cases, in the same house with you as you were growing up. A rich tapestry with layers of wisdom and experience was available to be studied as you matured and experienced the world around you. Children would learn morals from mom and dad and then hear them echoed by relatives who believed in the same important values and wanted to instill in their nieces, nephews and grandchildren the character traits that were important for becoming healthy, contributing members of society.
We travel over two hours to our nearest grandson and have to fly from a northern edge of the United States to a Southern edge to see our other grandson. We were blessed to have both with us at Thanksgiving but will be only able to celebrate Christmas with our youngest son Ben this year as both of his older brothers and their families are going to the in-laws. Nevertheless, we always relish the thought of having our house full and being able to lavish our love on our grandsons the way we did on our sons. There is something about Grandma and Grandpa love that is irresplaceable. Sadly, when you don’t have that in a family, that is a priceless generational treasure lost that is incredibly unfortunate.
We all value certain things as families, that can be indelibly imprinted on our children by other members of the extended family and other generations (like grandparents). When those get- togethers don’t take place, those opportunities are lost to speak into the lives of nieces, nephews, grandsons and granddaughters. Those are chances to say, “yes, these things matter to us as well and your parents are raising you right!”
I think the holidays and family reunions are the perfect times to reconnect and confirm the good things that are happening in our extended families. They are times when we can congratulate the engaged couple and put our stamp of love on their plans to marry, or shower an expectant mom with gifts to offer our blessings on their new addition to the family…It’s a time to admire how much the little ones have grown and the things they are getting into that showcase their skills, talents and interests. It is a time to affirm the plans of a college graduate as he pursues his career and life dreams. All of these are opportunities to speak support, encouragement, and love into their lives and influence the positive choices they are making as they mature.
We must never take for granted the generational treasures that are available to us as we raise our children. Another generational layer of experience can be a wonderful thing to tap as we search out resources for wisdom and support in our child raising efforts. It never hurts to bounce ideas off someone who’s “been there and done that” and whose results you admire! Let’s learn to link into those generational treasures as our children grow~ we can all learn from the women in our families that came before us and impacted the lives of those in our family back a generation with their no-nonsense parenting styles and unconditional love!
How will you incorporate more generational treasures into your home life this new year?
May God bless your Christmas reunions with family and keep you safe this holiday~
Ann Van De Water ~ Author of MOMMY MEMOIRS.
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