I love my grandsons so much. They mean the world to me, but oh my they are a handful. I raised ONE daughter. One means….no fighting over toys or some bizarre object, not having to play referee, no jealousy over affection or whatever.
So the thing I am forced to face as a grandparent is patience (my lack of) and the endless repetition of correcting behavior and rules to a 4 & 6-year-old.
I am getting better…but a paragon of patience I AM NOT. Patience is not a natural trait for me.
When we were growing up, my sisters and I nicknamed our mother, — who is named Esmeralda but goes by the nickname Mila — ‘Panic Mila’. Her other nickname? A Filipino-appropriate ‘Typhoon Mila’. You can imagine that our household was not an ideal breeding ground for learning about patience and calm.
I admire folks with an abundance of patience and a calm demeanor. This I witnessed in my grandson Jun-Jun’s 1st grade class yesterday during volunteer time (see post Back to 1st Grade).
I was expecting a class full of noisy children. I imagined if that was me in charge, the kids would figure out immediately that I was afraid of them and have paper ball wars, and I would have all sorts of scary things stuffed in my hair…or worse. I would not know what to do, and I think I would last 1/2 day at most.
Jun-Jun’s teacher was amazing. The kids were orderly, they ate their breakfast, moved into their lessons, and she did this so effortlessly. Hearing her interacting with the children and their voices, was, well….um, so very calming.
Our grandsons take Tae Kwon Do classes, a Korean form of martial arts.
I see the same qualities of patience and control from their teacher, who is called Sah Bum Nim (translation: The Master).
I learned recently that Korea’s ancient name is Choson, which translates to ‘Land of Morning Calm’. Well then!
So for new parents, or grandparents participating in raising the little ones, I highly recommend spending time with folks who have the gift of interacting with children.
No time for intensive child psychology classes –or a grandparent needing refreshers? Just help out in the classrooms of your grandchildren and stay for their martial arts classes. It’s amazing what you can learn!
Updated February, 2015:
I am taking up meditation again, and found this great tip from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s bestselling book Wherever You Go There You Are, on mindfulness meditation in everyday life.
I’ve had this book for YEARS and recently decided to re-read it.
Sometimes you just read the right books at the right time, or the moment your need it (which is why I can’t imagine going all digital and not having physical books around me, at least not yet!)
Definitely worth a read, and posted here as a reminder for me, and if you happen upon this post and looking for resources in your role as a grandparent or about patience in general.
If you have other tips or resources, please do share! Thank you.
Related Lolako.com post: A library with no books — and its at a university