Do you ever feel like you are in a competition with your grandchildren’s parents or other grandparents for you their highest affections? Are you striving together with their parents and other grandparents as you progress toward a common goal, or are you struggling against them, and spinning in circles?
Even if you are completely on a different page with these other adults in their lives, it’s hard to justify any reason to dwell on the differences between your perspective and theirs. Unless they are bent on destruction, its likely your goals for the grandchildren stem from the same love and concern. Uniformity in approach may reduce conflict, but it won’t necessarily result in stronger results.
For example, the grandkids in our lives attend very different churches from what we would choose. At times, this creates a difficulty in communicating about our faith. But rather than dwelling on the differences as an avenue to criticism, we choose to celebrate an adventurer role. Not that we don’t point out differences in a kind way when asked, but we are always respectful.
1. Multiple Indispensable Perspectives
Some would say that it takes a village to raise a child. Not simply to carry part of the load through challenging times. But also to share some of what’s best in each of us with our grandchildren. If we all had the same strengths, we would likely all have the same weaknesses, and that would be a scary community indeed.
2. A Model for Maturity
One of the signs of maturity is respecting others points of view. Especially when their perspectives relate to things that are highly important to us, or seem like they interfere with the way we would feel most comfortable with things going. When you show honest respect, you lay a path for them to understand true maturity.
3. A Sense of Security
What would happen in a business if for some reason the two key shareholders started feuding? What if these two influential individuals suddenly had conflicting visions for the company or developed an intense personality conflict? regardless of how earnestly each partner communicated his or her commitment to the employees, the company would still suffer. Morale would drop. People would begin to worry about job security. Mid-level executives would bail out. The emotional atmosphere of the entire organization would reflect the quality of the most important relationship-just as it does in families.
Words and deeds that demonstrate your commitment to respect other adults in your grandchildren’s lives provide them with convincing proof that their identity is solid—they come from great roots.