Recently I was having a conversation with a retired school teacher about her career experiences. She acknowledged that one of the most difficult parts of educating children can be keeping order in the classroom. Teachers don’t have many options for disciplining unruly students, but this woman came up with an ingenious idea. On the first day of school, she wrote down the name and phone number for each student’s grandmother(s). A call to Grandma was extremely effective in quickly improving a child’s behavior.
When I was growing up as an Air Force child (no, not an “Air Force brat”:), we lived in several foreign countries. The attitude toward senior citizens in many other countries is radically different than in the United States. Often they live with the family even when they’re ill. Nursing homes are used only for parents that need extreme medical care. Grandparents remain an integral part of the family and their life experience and wisdom are valued.
There is no denying there is a breakdown of our nation’s moral fiber including an understanding of right and wrong. In previous generations, there were more choices made for what was right and less made for what was easy. If we’re fortunate enough to have our children’s grandparents still living, it might be a worthwhile use of time to have some heart to heart talks. Parenting styles don’t have to be exactly the same from generation to generation, but some things never change – or, at least, they shouldn’t!