Your Grandchildren Will be Excited to Hear Your Story

In a prior post on this Blog, I talked about how a great relationship between a grandparent and their grandchildren is important to both of them. Some grandparents don’t know how to go about building a relationship like this.

One of the ways you can do this is by telling them your own story. When you tell them about your life, your grandchildren start to understand what you experienced. They also see that in many ways you were just like they are.  You had many of the same thoughts and feelings they have now.  You also had many of the same challenges they are facing.

You might say your life has been uneventful. Your grandchildren would just be bored and not interested.

You Are Totally Wrong

I can guarantee you they will be excited to learn about you and what you have experienced in your lifetime.  The changes you have experienced and seen take place are totally amazing. Just think of how the world has changed since you were born.

Let’s look a little more closely at some of the things you have seen.

I am sure that in your preteen years you were just like me. You probably played with your friends all the time. On weekends and during the summers you were outside almost constantly from morning to night. The only time you came home was to eat and sleep.

Do your grandchildren play with their friends outside? When was the last time you saw children playing outside?  Today, there is such a fear for safety, parents don’t let their children do this. They have to watch them all of the time. If they play with friends, normally it is indoors with one or two at their or their friends’ homes.

Do You See How Your Grandchildren Are Missing Out?

Can you remember when your family didn’t have a TV and you just listened to radio? When your family got a television, you were probably glued to it. Can you remember watching the test pattern after a station went off at night or before it came on in the morning?

Most probably your family’s first TV was black and white. It was years before you got a color one. Do you remember how poorly those TVs were made and how they broke down at the most inconvenient times? Back in those days, there were TV repairmen and your parents called one to fix your TV. Frequently it took several days before that repairman made it out to your house.

There were only 3 channels and you had to watch the shows they provided. There weren’t any DVD players or movie channels. If you wanted to see a new movie, you had to go to a theater.

Your Mom Was Probably a Housewife

In the 1950’s and 1960’s women rarely worked outside the home Their role was to take care of the kids and the house.

Up to the late 1950’s and early 1960’s many women whose families could afford to send them to college did not go to college to get a degree. They went to find a husband.

Do You Still Have a Home Phone?

Most families had a telephone. Rather than a private line, it was a party line that you shared with neighbors.  Those who could afford it had a two-party line. Others had a 3 or 4 party line.

If you picked up the phone to make a call and another party was using it, you hung up and waited until they finished their call. The only way you could find that out was by picking up the receiver again.

Remember how frustrated girls were when they couldn’t talk to their girlfriends or boyfriends on the phone when they wanted.

If you wanted to make a long-distance call, you had to get an operator to help you. Operators were female and they placed the calls for you.  Eventually, area codes came out and you could make a long distance call yourself.

There was no such thing as a cell phone or today’s smart phone. Nor was there anything like texting. If anyone told us back in the 1950’s or 1960’s, we’d have phones that we could carry with us and that could enable us to do many things besides calling people, we would have said they were crazy.

The Major Changes in the

Music Industry in Our Lifetimes

Back in the 1960’s every home had record players. On these you played 33, 45 and 78 rpm records.78’s were dying. All rock and roll songs were recorded on 45’s.

8 track tapes replaced records. Cassette tapes replaced the 8 tracks. CDs replaced cassettes Now most people download songs onto their cell phones or listen to them on one of the streaming music channels.

Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s people swam in streams and lakes. Now, most small children and teens would never think about swimming in those places because they aren’t clean. If they can’t swim in a pool, they don’t swim at all.

How Have Computers Impacted Your life?

The first computers were massive units. Companies had to have them in separate rooms. These rooms were cooled to keep the computers from overheating. Platforms were built to keep computers off the floor to protect them from floods and water damage.

Over the years there was a switch from these massive computers to desktops, to laptops and to smart phones. Now the smallest of these are more powerful than any of those massive ones.

There was no world wide web.  There was no internet. Now we get impatient when our computer doesn’t start quickly or if it takes us too long to go from one site to another.

If you wanted to talk to a group of people, you had to wait till you were all together. Now you just do it on Facebook.

There were only 3 auto companies – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.  Each company came out with new designs every year. It was common for most families to trade in their cars every 3 years. Then it was time for a new one and no one wanted to be seen with an older car.

Tell Your Grandchildren About These Changes.

Let Them Know How They Have Affected You!

Your grandchildren will be shocked by what you tell them.  They’ll also be fascinated by your story.

There have been many other events which you have experienced in your life that your grandchildren would love to hear about.

Take your time as you do this. Spending time and sharing your life story with them will build your relationship with them and bring you much closer together

They Also Have Seen Changes in Their Own Lives

Ask them about these and how they have felt about them.

One out of six older people in Knox County experience depression. Relationships with grandchildren has been found to help people avoid being depressed.

Telling their stories also keeps older people mentally sharp.

Grandchildren who have healthy relationships with their grandparents have less emotional and behavioral problems. They have less problems with others their own age. Those whose parents separate or divorce are not as traumatized by it. They also have less psychological damage when bullied.