things I want my kids to learn from their grandparents

Our kids have been lucky enough to know 4 great-grandparents and 4 grandparents. My husband and I lived in to his grandmother’s granny suite when we were first married and stayed until she decided to move to a retirement facility with her bridge buddies. When she moved, we bought the house and my grandparents moved in. Our children were born while my grandparents lived there. Their other great-grandma still lived very close by, so we visited her constantly, plus she was present for all birthdays and holidays. We’ve since moved, and have lost some of the great-grandparents, but we moved next door to my in-laws and a few houses away from my mother. Our kids have always been surrounded by grandparents, and have always had the benefit of lots of love.


This is what I hope they learn from them:

Treat people with respect and kindness and dignity. Everyone deserves to be treated well. Sometimes they may not treat you well in return, but you will feel better knowing that you gave them a chance. It doesn’t matter what level of physical or mental ability, sexuality, race or economic status, everyone deserves to be treated with respect, kindness and dignity.

Be helpful. If you see somebody that needs help, help them. It’s that simple. I could be something small, like holding a door for someone pushing a stroller, or something big. If it is within your ability, provide the help.

Work hard. Believe me, there are a lot of people that don’t know how to work anymore. Knowing how to work and get dirty will help you later in life – you will have the skills needed to approach a problem, solve a problem, organize and you will not be afraid to just dive in. Get dirty. Learn to use a shovel.

Tell stories and listen to other people’s stories. Our families are good story tellers. You can learn a lot from them and be entertained by them at the same time. Often they unintentionally have some good advice or learning opportunities attached. And you have some historically significant figures in your family. Learn from them. Retell the stories to your kids.

Keep your family close. They will always love you, fight for you, and run to help you out in the middle of the night when you need it. It’s not always possible to stay close physically, but you can stay in touch easily with modern communication. Even your great-grandma has mastered Facebook and email.

Table manners are important. Sit up straight. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Keep your elbows off of the table. Use a napkin. Don’t reach. Chew slowly. Learn the order of utensils and when to use them. Put your utensils at 10 and 4 on your plate when you are finished, your hands in your lap and wait to be excused. If you learn proper table manners, you can go anywhere, anytime and feel comfortable at a meal.

Learn how to make something with your own hands. Learn a skill. Be creative. I could be woodworking, cooking, sewing, knitting or crochet. It doesn’t matter. Learn how to make things. It’s something that in the future you can fall back on as a hobby, as a calming activity, to make money or to save money.

Never stop learning. Read a lot. The more the know, the better equipped you will be to face life. You can keep learning even late in life. Don’t fall behind.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home

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32 thoughts on “things I want my kids to learn from their grandparents

  1. IntrovertedSarah says:

    These are beautiful things.

  2. Excellent advice – particularly the last one – I consider myself a life long student (went to school until I was 27, so I tried this out formally for a long time too)

  3. I love this post. First of all it’s quite amazing that your children have known 4 grandparents and 4 great-grandparents…really amazing. I only knew 1 grandmom. And the tips are so true…it looks / sounds so simple and yet if half of the people on this earth would follow them…what a difference we would have!! 🙂

  4. oceannah says:

    It is a gift to have such ‘grand’ people in your children’s lives. What a fine curriculum 🙂

  5. A very poignant and important view point and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you.

  6. Fantastic. I am so glad you realized how important grandparents, family, and relationships are. You are one Wise Mama. There is just something so special about the relationship between grands–that look on the little one’s face in the top photo. Oh, she feels so important and honored by the love and acceptance of Grandfather! Just precious! Yes, grandparent’s have lived long and have great stories and usually, wonderful and wise advice. great post, great, common sense ideas. thanks so much.

  7. slowborg says:

    This is a truly excellent post. The sentiment is so valuable and the lessons spot on. If I could have had an ongoing relationship with grandparents I would cherish the memories and lessons.

  8. So true, Heidi. I’d like these same lessons for my kiddos, too! I think this speaks to the fact that all these take place in real life and can’t be done through technology or an app. Excellent post.

  9. elleadi says:

    Thanks for this very inspiring post!

  10. Our children had their grandparents (at least my husband’s parents and my mother) in their lives for many years of their lives and learned I believe some of what you mention…they had to go through the grieving process when they passed away but they received so much from them while they lived…Diane

  11. Somer says:

    Love that advice!

  12. My children too were lucky to have grandparents around that they saw frequently. There is so much they learned from them and the love they received will stay with them forever.

  13. Such an uplifting post with good advice. And how lucky your children are to have been raised in this family atmosphere.

  14. I bet the “olds” learn a lot from the kids too!

  15. Great that you care, most people just don’t seem to care about the “little” things in life that make life LIFE. Keep up the great work.

  16. This is wonderful. Our little guy had four grandparents and 3 great grandparents when he was born. It is my hope that he will have as wonderful memories of his grands as I do of mine.

  17. Janet S says:

    I love this. Truly good values. I’m reposting!

  18. Janet S says:

    Reblogged this on Raising My Twins and commented:
    What follows is a post from a fellow blogger I follow. I loved this post so much because I believe these are seriously good values. Enjoy!

  19. Imogen says:

    Lovely, lovely post. Grandparents and great-grandparents are to be learnt from, enjoyed and cherished.

  20. 'Becca says:

    This is a lovely article filled with good life lessons.

    For me, part of the reason I try to use resources wisely and take good care of the environment is the lessons I learned from my grandparents. My dad’s parents grew up poor and then had a very hard time during the Depression. They had learned to be careful with their things and make them last, and they showed constant gratitude for the many comforts of modern living that they were able to afford by the time I came along. My mom’s parents loved hiking and going to the beach, and they modeled respect for these natural environments and disgust for pollution. My grandma also was keen on shopping responsibly. I learned a lot of great skills from my grandparents!

  21. Jennifer says:

    What a lovely post! It must really be something to live so close to family. With our gypsy lifestyle, I can’t even fathom it. The lessons those kids will get in wisdom….how wonderful.

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