By: Honey Good
I usually opt for a creative approach when I decide I want to make a point with my children and grandchildren. How? I tell them a story. I think storytelling is the best way to capture the attention of all age groups. Don’t you?
A few of my Grands came to spend the weekend with me recently. It was dark when we arrived home after lapping up ice cream sundaes at Ghirardelli’s ice cream shop a few blocks from our ‘apartment in the sky.’ Living on the 71st floor is captivating to the eye, especially at night when you walk over to the huge windows wrapped around our living and dining room and look down at the shining lights casting a glow over the city. Millions of stars shine brightly nightly, too. As I looked out into the starry-starry night, my eye caught sight of the North Star.
...and so begins my story
“Come sit close to me. I want to tell you a story. I love stars. I know you do too! Look up into the sky at the thousands of twinkling stars! Do you see that star that outshines all the others?”
“I do!” Said one.
“I think I do!” said another Grand.
“I know shooting stars and I wish I could see one,” said the third.
“Well the star I am talking about is called the North Star. While other stars move slowly across the sky, the brightly shining North Star, called a fixed star, is stable. I want you to continue to grow up like the North Star and become a brightly shining, stable star!
“Me too!” one Grand said.
“I promise you Honey, I will be a stable star.” said another.
“I want to be a singing stable star like the girl in Beautiful!” said the third Grand.
With that said, I want to tell you a story of the type of stars I do not want you to follow. They are called shooting stars. They flash across the sky; wow you for a minute and then fade away because they are not stable. You will not learn anything good from that star. You do not want to act like a shooting star.
They all said at once, “We won’t, Honey!”
“Just to make sure, I want to give you a few examples to remind you of The North Star; the stable star. The Stars on our American Flag that symbolize our freedom, democracy and stability; countless moms and dads that both work so they can feed and clothe their children; grandmothers who raise their grandchildren because they have stepped up to the plate; young children like yourselves who study hard at school, are respectful to their parents, tell the truth and have kind hearts. I want you to grow up to be good citizens. I want you to be proud of yourselves. I want you to have friends you can admire and learn from."
“You my little darling Grands are growing up to be like the North Star. I am so proud of you. I love you all with all my heart.”
“We love you too, Honey.”
Do something GOOD today: Tell a value story to children.
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Teaching our grandchildren to get out of their comfort zone, into their courage zone, and ‘just do it’ leads to a successful life.
I have found the best way to ‘sink’ any important knowledge, into my Grandss heads is through my art of storytelling.
My philosophy is not scientific. Everyone, at every age, loves a story.
When I sense a problem, I jump in, as their wise grandmother, and ask them to sit down with me... that is if I am lucky enough to be with them. If they are miles away, we talk over the phone or Skype.
I listen to them. I validate their situation. And then I say, “I want to tell you a true story that relates to your situation." It gets their attention, every time, darlings.
I have found with my twenty-four Grands that self- doubts occur as they wonder what paths they should take.
We can recklessly say what we choose, or we can carefully choose what we say.
Remember, we are wise because of our life experiences. Our grandchildren are much younger than us. So we must think before we speak.
Here are a few things you may be tempted to say to your grandchildren, but they will not do anyone any good:
1. “Don’t tell your mom or dad.”
This is teaching your grandchildren it is OK to be dishonest.
By Susan "Honey" Good
"Each time a grandchild is born your heart beats a little faster." Barbara Handy, Honey Good Facebook Friend
About a month or more ago, I posed the following question on my Honey Good Facebook page, "Describe - in one word - how you felt the first time you held your grandchild?"
Dear readers, you did not disappoint with the breadth of your answers nor with their poignancy.
Every child wants to have friends and be part of ‘a group.’
With our guiding principles we should play a role in educating our Grands on the principles of friendship, so they can choose the right friends and groups and avoid the fickle, fake, back stabbers and poor role models.
Teaching Grandchildren, through story telling, is my manner of imparting a message. I choose to tell my Olive tree story by using the tree as a symbol and guide of what characteristics to look for a group.
The Olive Tree Story
To celebrate my amazing children & Grands on National Kids Day I have found a delicious, quick & easy, kid-friendly recipe to try this summer! Guaranteed to impress any hungry Grands!
- Pizza base (one third of our homemade pizza base will make 24 mini pizza bites)
- Passata or tomato puree
- Cheese (we used grated mozzarella)
- Topping of your choice (mushrooms and pepperoni)
Once a month I am very fortunate to be one of several women bloggers who participate in a conference call. We discuss a multitude of topics. I look forward to the exchange.
On last week’s call, I was struck by a topic brought up by one of our members, Donne, who is the owner of GaGaSisterhood.com.
A title of a story she posted, written by another writer, was: Are you denied access to your grandchildren? I was truly shocked at the enormous response Donne received from grandmother’s suffering and grieving because they are not allowed access to their Grands. I asked Donne if I could share the story with you.
My purpose is to let you know you are not alone.
Please share with me and our community of grandmothers.
Last Sunday our Grand, Joe Good, called to check in. His grandfather spoke to him for about 10 minutes. I am not his natural grandmother and I spoke to him for 30.
A few years ago I initiated a plan that I hoped would establish a closer bond with this Grand of mine because…
Joe’s and my life is separated by several thousands of miles, sometimes continents and as mentioned, I am not his natural grandmother.
I am telling you my story so you ‘don’t give up the ship’ if you are in my situation. Remember, ‘where there is a will, there is always a way.’ But, your will must come from the heart.
Here is my story.
My Grands, like many of yours, have moved away with their parents. It is the modern-world syndrome and not only do grandmother’s suffer but so do our adult children and of course, our Grands. We are the scattered generation.
My grown children occasionally chastise me with comments, I feel often unfairly, yet I admit I ask myself, “Could I do more?
I know many absentee grandmothers feel as I do. We are saddened that society has changed from the golden days when we all lived near family. We wish we could hop in our cars; pick up our Grands from school, help them with their homework or take them for a dairy queen. We want to hug them; we want to look at them; we want to be hugged back. But we cannot! It is the scattered generation.
6 years ago, when my identical triplet granddaughters were 4 years old, they began asking me questions about death. They seemed fascinated by a dead bird in the street. Their pet goldfish passed away and they had a ceremony to bury him “at sea”. They talked about great grandparents that they had only heard of and wondered how they had died. None of these experiences or questions came with any sadness. They were merely “curious” about this life event. I was able to answer them with facts rather than emotions.