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ASK MERRILY/Third Grandmother

Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Jul 30,2009
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,
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Photo by Flickr / the unquiet librarian<br />
Photo by Flickr / the unquiet librarian
"My grandchildren have 3 grandmothers. The other 2 love to go shopping and buy
just-wonderful things for the kids. My daughter knows I disapprove of swamping
children with trendy toys and clothes, but she loves it all. How do I make peace
with her? I started by telling the kids bedtime stories. Is that enough?"

My grandchildren have 3 grandmothers.  The other 2 love to go shopping and buy just-wonderful things for the kids. My daughter knows I disapprove of swamping children with trendy toys and clothes, but she loves it all. How do I make peace with her? I started by telling the kids bedtime stories. Is that enough?  It seems confrontational.  
 
Dear Grandmother,

Aren’t you lucky!
  If you were the only grandmother, you would have to buy the trendy toys.  Someone has to do it.

This may be a perfect win-win situation, as every grandmother has her own special way to spoil her grandchildren.  The kids will remember as generous the grandmothers who swamped them with trendy toys and clothes.  Toys are necessary as kids are very busy little people who learn from play, whether their toys are trendy or the just the cardboard boxes the toys came in.  Your daughter is happy to have so many toys and clothes that she doesn’t have to buy.

This leaves you free to spoil them in your own way with time, attention, and stories.  You too can go shopping and buy “just-wonderful things” – books!  Build their library with storybooks, nursery rhymes, alphabet and counting books, books of animals and nature.  

Take them to the library where books are free.  Reading to children has documented benefits – performing well in school, learning to read early, higher IQ.  Your gift is substantial, meaningful, lasting, real.
 
As many kids are starved for adult attention, your natural inclination to read to your grandchildren may fill a void.  Bedtime stories provide a very special bonding time with snuggling together to point at pictures and giggle at funny words and characters.  The children fall asleep content with stories in their heads and love in their hearts.  Is there a better gift?

If your daughter suggests that you are neglecting your shopping duties, point out that stories are your true gift.  In the long run, your example will teach her a wonderful way to be a grandmother when her turn comes.  

Your grandchildren will remember your bedtime stories long after trendy toys have been lost, broken, or forgotten.  
 
Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator, who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks. Email questions to askmerrily@yahoo.com, or use online form at www.anintentionallife.com
 



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