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Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Wonderful Grandparents - a thing of the past?
What do these days have in common in 2014?
January 21 - Poland
January 22 - Poland
March 2 - France
August 31 - Taiwan
September 7 - USA
September 14 - Estonia, Canada
October 2 - Italy
October 5 - United Kingdom
October 12 - Pakistan, Germany
November 2 - Australia
Yes! You're right! On all these days throughout 2014 Grandparens' Days are celebrated in many different countries around the world. It's interesting, however, that in many countries the day is celebrated as one holiday and it's called National Grandparents' Day. In Poland we have a special day for Grandmas and another one for Grandpas.
What I'd like to talk about today, though, is the question I posed in the title:
Wonderful Grandparents - a thing of the past?
Why such a question on such a day? Well, isn't it perhaps your own observation that many grandparents don't fulfill this honorable role of being a grandparent these days? Many of them are either busy still working professionally and having a hundred hobbies or are already retired and enjoy their own lives. Both groups often feel there are much more interesting things to do than spending time with their grand kids. Why is this so? Why are there so many grandparents today who do nothing to almost nothing to be a grandparent? Leave alone being a wonderful one... Is it because they don't know how to? Is it because they don't truly love their grand kids? Is it because they find it extremely boring and tiring to spend time with their grand kids? Is it because they have nothing to offer?
Of course, I am neither a sociologist, psychologist nor any other sort of expert to answer this question, but when you come to think of this lack of well established relationship between grand parents and their grand kids, you are likely to feel sad about it.
I myself don't remember my father's father as he passed away the year I was born. I remember my father's mom very well as I spend quite a lot of time with her. She was a simple but very loving woman. She took care of me when I was little and then a bit older. I remember how she taught me various things, how she organized my time to teach me moral and religious values and how she taught me the value of work. I guess she greatly contributed to laying the foundations for who I am today. On my mom's side, I remember playing and doing things together with my grandpa. He also passed away when I was a teenager. Now, there is only my grandma, who was bringing me up for some time when I was little. She taught me very many things, she has always been very loving, caring, helpful and understanding. I can easily say I love all my grandparents and I am happy I could spend time with them.
Why do kids need grandparents? Why do grandparents need their grand children? Who need this relationship more? There are probably many answers to these questions. If you know how to answer them, please do! Share your opinions!
Grandparents should offer their unconditional love and total acceptance. It's them who need to be gentle and understanding. Grandparents should never pretend that they're different. They must not be actors as it is always easily detected by extremely direct, open and honest kids. Falsehood and hypocrisy will not make grandparents credible in their grand kids' eyes. I guess all children need to be with people who are true. Grandparents can build strong ties by spending time with their grand children. What does it mean? Well, if there's love and understanding, spending time with each other is no challenge at all. Then you can talk, share your stories, discuss problems and feelings. Responsible and wise grandparents would then shape your values, attitudes and standards you will probably adhere to throughout your life. Those love-based lessons will always stay in your mind and you'll be able to take from them whenever your life gets you down. Grandparents should offer their grandchildren whatever good they have for them. Grandparents should always guarantee peace and security. They should teach kids about God, family and social traditions. They should be able to show their beloved grand kids the rules of this world, good patterns of behavior. All the things I have mentioned so far should be transferred with personal life stories so that all the talking is not just bare babbling but true teaching that gives food for thought and helps to refer back to those words of wisdom when you are in trouble yourself. Grandparents should teach respect towards others and towards themselves - with love. Doing anything without love, or worse - against somebody else - is just killing grand kids' heart of hearts and will eventually turn against grandparents themselves.
For all those grandparents who are trying their best to be grandparents, here is my song:
And for those grandparents who have forgotten about their grandparenthood is this post today to make them think of how much they lose not being close to their grand kids.