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SCHMIDT: Celebrate your grandparents on Sunday

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By Dr. Paul Schmidt

By Todd Stephenson

Can you afford on Sunday not to visit and celebrate appreciating your grandparents? Do you remember what special yummy treats they kept in stock for you to enjoy eating when you visited?

Well if you have grown up now, the tasty treat is still there, but it may have changed form. The really good grandparents “still bear fruit in old age. They stay fresh and green” (Psalm 92:14).

I say all grandparents bear some fruit that has ripened with age to be tastier and juicier than ever right now. Few grandparents have all these treats, but here are 10 tasty fruits that you might be able to enjoy on a visit if you come looking for them:

  1. A new gear. If you don’t get this one, you won’t get any of the others. They talk and live at a slower pace. Get with it – it’s  good for you and your family, body and soul.
  2. An open ear. If nobody else wants to hear the full story of how much you’ve suffered or accomplished or been blessed, they will. And better still, they’ll believe it. If they don’t think to ask about it, tell them to sit back and listen up.
  3. Solutions. If you describe a problem to them, sit back and listen. Their solutions will likely be ones they have never thought of. And they might be given with no strings attached: grandparents often love and respect you all the same whether or not you follow their advice.
  4. Stories. They tell stories, thankfully without any point. Stories entertain, teach, and digest better than the lectures others give that are full of principles and advice. Their stories have these too, but somehow you don’t notice.
  5. Authority. Theirs is over your parents’, always was. It doesn’t over-rule. It’s wise enough to overlook and oversee. It’s based on vast experience, and it’s like covering yourself on a cold day with a warm blanket. Don’t miss it.
  6. Affirmations. Other people, especially peers and parents, tend to focus on what you don’t do well. They can focus on your strengths and talents, often seeing what others cannot, and that really feels good. Their affirmations can give you a new view of yourself.
  7. Identity. Grandparents may have given you a nickname you love. Compared to being your parents’ child, or even sometimes your lover’s lover, being their grandchild is a whole lot closer to being your own person.
  8. Importance. Maybe nothing you’re doing right now is working out very well, or you feel nobody needs you. Well they do, and cheering them up with a call, a card, or best of all a visit, is a home run every time. You are always important to them.
  9. Laughter. When everyone else in your life including yourself takes you and life too seriously, try your grandparent. Old people have often learned to laugh at themselves and life better than most people you know, and it’s contagious.
  10. Role Models. After you’ve listened to their life story enough to where you can tell it yourself, you will see they may be your best role models, especially for laughing, loving, living simply, aging, dying, relating to God, and for handling pain, loneliness, and adversity.

So remember how to visit your grandparents (or your children’s!): Look for the good stuff, and that’s just what you’ll get. Your gift to them this Grandparents Day can be to tell them all the different fruits you enjoy eating when you visit them now.

 

Dr. Paul Schmidt is a psychologist life coach with offices in Middletown, Shelbyville, and Lexington. He can be reached at  www.mynewlife.com 502 633 2860.