National Grandparents Day is Sept. 8th

This Sunday is National Grandparents Day! A day where we can take a second to remember the people who successfully raised one set of children and then went on to help bring up another batch. Although parents teach kids the alphabet, haul them to soccer practice, ballet, and piano lessons while helping them grow into successful adults, there are some life lessons that can only be taught by Grandma and Grandpa.

Maybe it’s because they come from a different era or that they get to return the kids to their parents after they’ve been sugared up and spoiled with hours of TV time, in any case, the knowledge of Grams and Gramps is unique from Mom’s and Dad’s.

Take my Nana for example. This is a woman who volunteers at a nursing home to entertain the “old people” (her words, not mine) at the age of 82; a lady that once broke her back on a roller coaster. Most recently my partner-in-crime and I went skydiving for her 80th birthday and then did it again the following year just for kicks. You get the picture. Though my parents have always had great advice, it’s pretty hard to top a skydiving Nana.

Besides a new appreciation for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, she has taught me four life skills I use every day.

1. Enjoy the sweet things in life. She swears the key to a long and healthy life is eating a candy bar for breakfast every day.  Even though the Snickers diet may not be right for me, she does have a point. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy the things you love, even if that’s just a candy bar, it makes life a heck of a lot harder.

2. Patience. Have you ever tried explaining Twitter to someone who has never owned a computer?

3. Get out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s encouraging me to move to New York to follow my career dreams or forcing me to take pictures of her posing with a homeless person’s shopping cart while visiting me, she’s taught me that you have to go after what you want and not to worry about what others think.

4. How to fold a fitted sheet.

 

We asked the Parents staff to sound off on their favorite advice from their grandparents. Here’s what they said:

“My grandma grew up very poor in rural Kentucky and had to drop out of school early. She has taught me to appreciate my education and the advantages it’s given me.” – Hannah Werthan, Editorial Assistant

“My grandfather David, who died July 8, taught me that being silly is not just for kids and finding the laughter in almost any situation is essential. He also taught me that one should love to dance, but alas, that’s one lesson I have not taken to heart.”-Michael Kress, Executive Editor

“Orange juice pulp is healthy for you – so don’t remove it from the glass when it’s poured for you. Also, if it’s winter time and the refrigerator is full, the fire escape is an acceptable alternative for dairy products.”-Cathy Simpson, Accounting

“My grandfather told me I should only buy Chevy’s because they’re the only cars ‘made correctly.’ My grandmother said you should only be sad about something for up to 2 weeks. After that, it’s old news and you’re ‘not allowed to cry about it anymore. Time to get it together!’ ” – Sarah Aires, E-Commerce Intern

“My grandfather always told me, ‘The best cure for a cold is ice cream!’ “ –France Salvosa, Art Editor

“I used to love watching my grandmother brush her false teeth at night. So, I guess I learned the importance of good oral hygiene!” – Jenna Helwig, Food Editor

“My paternal grandmother instilled a DIY spirit in me: Don’t like store-bought soy sauce? Make your own! Tore a hole in your jeans? Patch it up with ribbon! Even though I have yet to make my own soy sauce or repair torn jeans, being resourceful is a quality that has been ingrained in me.” – Sherry Huang, Features Editor

“You’re most full when your refrigerator is empty.”-Amanda Nesbot, Editorial Assistant

“My Grandpa Lester taught me how interesting people are if you only ask. He was friends with the cashier at our local grocery store, the teller of our bank, and the butcher at our deli all because he took the time to ask them about themselves. He took the time to care and to listen.” –Ruthie Fierberg, Editorial Assistant

What’s the best piece of advice your grandparents have given you or your kids? What life lessons do you hope your kids learn from their grandparents?

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