Remembering the things my grandmother taught me 43



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Do you remember what your grandparents taught you? The times they tried to share something important with you, something that might have helped shape your life.

The role of grandparent can be an important one, imparting some of the life lessons you have learned from almost a lifetime on this planet.

You can teach your grandchildren about the family history, tell them what life was like when you were young, share games you know and even teach them a skill like knitting; all things that will stand them in good stead.

There’s another important thing a grandparent can be: a good listener. Just listening to your grandchildren talk about what’s going on in their lives can be a great release for them.

My grandmother in particular was also good with “one liners”, short pieces of advice she’d picked up somewhere that held important life lessons. Here are just a few she used to love to come out whenever she considered it appropriate – I’m sure you can add many more sage words of advice from your own grandparents.

Be polite to everyone

“It doesn’t cost anything to be polite,” my grandmother used to tell me.  She was a firm believer in thinking the best of everyone and turning the other cheek. “Besides, a nice smile can be the perfect response to someone’s rudeness,” she used to add cheekily. “It gives them absolutely no come back”.

Live every day to the full

Make the most of life. It’s a gift. However bad a day might be, it is still a heck of a lot better off than being 10-feet under. Think of what other people are going through and tell yourself how lucky you are.

Yesterday is yesterday

Don’t have regrets. What is done is done. Look forward and not back.

Look at the doughnut not the hole

This is actually something my mother used to say rather than my grandmother, but it still holds very true. It means adopting a glass half-full attitude rather than glass half-empty attitude.

Listen to other people, but do what you want to do

Take advice from any good source you can, but when it comes down to it, do what is good for you. No one else knows exactly how you feel and what is best for you. They might think they do, but they don’t.

Have fun

Laugh every day and cultivate a sense of humour. A good belly-laugh can brighten the hardest day. The saying “Laughter is medicine” is very true. That’s why some hospitals have laughter rooms.

Be social – humans weren’t meant to be loners

Don’t lock yourself away – try to be a social person. You’ll be much happier if you cultivate friends, especially when you’re older and your children have their own lives.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Try not to overreact to things that seem momentous at the time. It’s amazing how a night’s sleep and the distance of time will help make even the biggest issue seem smaller.

What have you learned from your own grandparents? And what have you taught your own grandchildren, or would like to teach them when they are old enough? Any other advice you’d like to share here?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. No can’t say ! As my grandparents passed away before I was born. Sad!

  2. I knew my grandmother and my great grandmother both were amazing cooks and both were Christians, I am not. Both taught me to be tolerant of others, they were to kind old ladies who went out of their way to help those in the community they lived in

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  3. My Mum’s Mum had a mantra: ‘Stay away from my bag’. Apparently one of my many cousins got into her bag and upset her loose face powder all over her pale coloured chenille bedspread. She was not a very warm person – but still loving and funny – she taught me how to drive. My other Gran had world’s softest most loving hands and an ample soft bosom to cuddle up against and to have those soft hands on my face was wonderful.

  4. My Grandmother was the most humble caring and loving woman. She never said a bad word about anyone. I lived next door to her and the memories of my growing up years with her will remain with me always. I always remember the month and year she died because she was fascinated with the first man landing on the moon and she was so excited. She died the night before July 1969.

  5. Unfortunately three of my grandparents were gone before I arrived. The fourth, my grandmother, terrorised me as a baby and when I met her again at age 8, she had dementia. I missed out in the Grandies stakes.
    As a grandmother, all I would say to my littlies and do say is,’A little kindness, grows and makes everyone feel good.’

  6. My grandmother was the sweetest, most gentle loving lady. She didn’t say an awful lot. But her actions spoke volumes. Even after 40 years I still miss her.

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