What I want to be when I get OLD

I was thinking tonight about what kind of parent/grandparent I want to be to my children when they are adults.

I thought:
-I'll be there to babysit
-I'll ask them what they need instead of assuming
-I'll learn about what their kids need and like
-I'll take them for weekends so my kids can rest.

There was a lot more.

And I realized that was all reactionary - those are the things I wish our parents would do for us, because of our special needs.  I have no idea of what my kids will need.  I don't want to parent in reaction, because it leads to filling needs that aren't there.  And missing other needs that are there.

How will I balance the needs of my kids?

First, I will ask.  What do you need most?  

Second, I will remember time is the most important thing you can give.  Someday I will be too old and infirm, and eventually too dead, to be useful.  The most important time is now.  Give generously of time, because it means so much when you are actually there.

Third, I will encourage them to help each other, if they can.  Family is a cohesive bond, but it has to be maintained.  When it is neglected, family is no better than strangers.

Fourth, I will learn.  I will learn alongside my children to meet their needs.

Fifth, I will have fun.  I will have fun on my own, and I will have fun with them.  I will take them on trips, if that suits them.  We will learn and experience.

Sixth, I will push them into independence.  Because it is satisfying to say "I did it myself."  And it is wrong to make someone dependent on you.

Because after I am OLD I will be DEAD.  And they will have to go on helping, and learning and having fun on their own.

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