Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. Harvey S. Firestone
On Saturday evening we went to our son and his wife’s housewarming. They’ve been busy since their wedding five weeks ago. They refinished a coffee and end table; it’s good to see their handiwork. Even our dog was invited and she acted like a lady. Our new grandson (three months old) was the star of the show bestowing his smile on a few lucky recipients.
We exchanged stories about our day without the internet. Shared some laughs and this Friday we will get together for my daughter-in-law’s, sister’s wedding. Tomorrow is my husband’s and my thirty-sixth wedding anniversary. Where did all that time go? Looking at my son and daughter I know it went to raising them. When my husband and I watch our grandson we look at each other wondering why we can’t remember our two doing what he is doing at this age. He sometimes has a constant stream of chatter and we wonder what he is trying to say?
We feel so blessed to have this time with him, we watch him develop, and see the changes he’s going through. We and the dog watch his every move. Lulu (the dog) is very attentive to this little person and lets his mom know if she thinks he needs attention.
Being a grandparent is one of the most wonderful stages in life. We don’t have the responsibility, but we have the connection to the next generation. It is tempting to want to make things easy for our children and grandchildren but they have to find their own way, their struggles will build their characters, and denying them their struggles may hamper their development.
You can’t keep helping people who don’t appreciate or respect your help. There is a point when helping becomes hindering. Know when it’s time to let go so they can grow. Tony Gaskins
Sometimes I say to my husband “What is helping someone and when is helping, hampering their growth, and how do we know the difference? This is a conundrum many people face we may hate to watch our children struggle but that may be precisely what they need to become the people they are to be.
We may wish we could give them what they want, that we could make it easier, and we could assure them of the success they want without the struggle, but going through the struggle is part of success. It might even be one of the most important parts.
We need to teach our children and grandchildren self-reliance, patience, to accomplish tasks independently, make their own decisions, work is part of life, clean up after themselves, money management is a huge part of living a good life, and you can learn anything you want to know by reading.
When you put it in a long sentence it seems simple but it is difficult. We have all heard, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and you will know them by their fruit.” We all want to know when our children reach a certain age that they can stand on their own two feet and will be okay without us. We need to trust we have given them the skills to pass on to the next generation so they are a blessing to society.
We need to know when to let go, when more help is a hindrance, when to encourage and when to stay silent. I’m sure we could do better if we had to do it over again, but we get our one shot. If we can know in our hearts that we tried to do the best we could with what we had, know we’d do it differently if we had the chance, but here we are, it’s their turn and we need to trust they’ll make the best of it.
Helping people grow and achieve their dreams is the fastest route to success: Both theirs and yours. Unknown
Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: The future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so. Unknown
In the end, the extent of our own success will be measured by the accomplishments we have helped create in others. Greg Reid
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