Passing Values Down to Your Grandchildren
Let me state the obvious: I am not a grandparent. I am not even close to having my own children. You might be thinking that I am not the best person to be writing a blog about passing qualities down to grandchildren. But, I can absolutely say I have some of the best grandparents in the whole wide world (sorry everyone else, it’s just the truth.)
From an early age, my grandparents have instilled strong family values into their grandchildren: me, my fifteen-year-old brother, and my twenty-year-old-cousin. We see the eternal value in having the family that we do and this all started with my grandparents. From an early age, I would watch the adults in my life just live out their lives and model myself from them (as you probably did.) Children are so receptive and follow in the footsteps of those who surround them.
When my grandparents were younger, there was no other option to work hard. For instance, my grandpa is a farmer and has been most of his life. I asked my grandpa where his work ethic came from and he attributed it to his grandpa. He said that he looked up to his grandpa so much, the man who raised him. Even at his age, he still goes out on the farm every day: tending to his cows and picking produce out of the garden to sell at the farmer’s market. He owns a small business with my uncle, Trinity Nursery, where they sell all kinds of flowers and produce out of their two greenhouses. My grandma is so giving of herself. She is a retired special education teacher and has been a caretaker to her father and now her brother for years. She has cooked Sunday lunch for the whole family almost every Sunday since my parents were married in 1996. She attributes her work ethic was passed down from her parents and they taught her to take pride in herself and everything she did.
I can pretty much guarantee most grandparents feel similarly: they want to instill the values that they hold dear to their children and grandchildren. Work ethic is something that must be taught. As a millennial, I know we are thought of as not having “the best” work ethic. Stereotypically, millennials are lazy, arrogant, and expect everything to be handed to them. While this may be true for a small percentage, I see it differently. I see that so many millennials have the drive to work hard that it can be somewhat impossible to break through the clutter. I know for myself, I have seen my grandparents work for what they have. They have given their family the world. I can see the value in work and what I can accomplish when I put in the effort.
I am sure you have values that you can trace back to your grandparents, whatever those may be. It is important that we acknowledge those things and where they came from. If you are fortunate to still have your grandparents, take a second and thank them today. Tell them how much the things they have instilled in you mean to you. Maybe some of your greatest qualities come from your grandparents. I know mine do.