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This is one of a series of articles for parents on how
nurture kids effectively over two decades while filling your own needs
well enough. It proposes (a) how to evaluate whether your parents (your
kids' grandparents) enhance or reduce your family's
and (b) if they reduce it, what can you (parents) do?
This two-part YouTube video summarizes key traits of a healthy ("high
nurturance") family. The video mentions eight self-improvement lessons
in this site - I've simplified that to seven.:
This article continues on page 2 for people in a stepfamily.This page assumes you're
intro to this nonprofit Web site and the
overview of the
lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle
Premise - the main purpose of any family (like yours) is to
fill key short and long-term
needs of its members - i.e. to
Every child is influenced by living and dead grandparents -
genetically, psychologically, logistically, and financially. The nurturing
role grandparents play has been significantly changed by our cultural
shift from close rural-community life to geographically-scattered, urban
extended (multigenerational) families.
The nurturing impact grandparents, aunts, and uncles have on a young
child depends on variables like these:
The mix of these variables determines
whether grandparents have a harmful, neutral, or nourishing impact on
minor grandkids and their parents. Have you ever considered how the
grandparents in your family affect how well you parents and kids get
your needs met?
Typical grandparents have several decades' more life experience to draw
on than their adult kids. If they are wholistically healthy and
knowledgeable. they can
support and counsel their adult kids wisely on how to best raise their
If seniors are
unaware (which is common), their behavior and attitudes can promote significant
shame, guilt, hurt, anger, and frustration in their grown kids and
grandkids. If grandparents were abused or neglected as kids, they risk
passing on harmful parenting values - e.g. disciplining to punish (cause pain), vs.
to instruct, or "children should be seen, not heard."
To judge whether the grandparents in your family are wounding or
nurturing your young people, see which of these traits are true.
the initials of each living or dead grandparent above the columns on the
right. If the senior is dead, describe their traits when alive. Use Yes,
No, ?, or NA (not applicable). This is not about
blame, it's about discovery, awareness. and protection.
For best results,
print this profile, get quiet and undistracted, and take your time filling
it out. Option -
journal your thoughts and feelings as
you do this. Is your true Self
guiding you now?If not, expect distorted results.
Consistently treats each
grown child as a respected independent adult
motivated to study and
Lesson 7 if you're a stepfamily
Bottom line: rank the
overall impact of your living and dead grandparents on your family system's
_ they're a great help in our
_ they don't significantly affect
our parenting efforts
_ they cause our
family significant stress
Pause, breathe, and reflect - what are you thinking and feeling?
The more "Yes"
answers you have above, the more likely it is that your kids'
grandparents have been promoting a high-nurturance (functional) environment for you and your kids.Option - show this article to your seniors and discuss your ratings
(above) with them.
If one or more of your seniors causes you, your marriage, and/or your
kids significant stress, you parents have many options to protect your
inheriting the [wounds + unawareness] cycle.
yourself and your partner for wounds and
unawareness (Lesson 1). Then select from choices like these:
You and your partner discuss these options and agree
on an action plan, as teammates. If your mate is a
Wounded Child) in denial, see this.
overview of the [wounds + unawareness] cycle with the grandparents, and
ask their help in guarding their grandkids from inheriting it.
If any family
senior is a GWC, consider discussing that with them respectfully. Show them
and invite them to
assess for wounds for your kids' sakes. If they
are wounded (ruled
by false selves), expect seniors to resist, deny, excuse, attack,
discount, or ignore your request. If you feel hesitant or
about confronting your parents, remind yourself that you're doing
this to protect your kids from inheriting lethal psychological wounds.
If a grandparent is
addicted to something (a symptom of psychological wounds
and inner pain), you
and your mate
discuss and choose from these
If you have
problems with one or more grandparents, see
this. The best
option is to invite your seniors to study
Lesson 2 with you!
If you need one or more seniors to change an attitude
or behavior, identify what
you need, and apply these
ideas for resolving your problem/s.
avoid hinting, asking, or demanding that grandparents
show more interest in - or more affection with - your kids. Doing so
is a self-defeating
''be spontaneous!'' paradox.
If a grandparent clearly favors one grandchild over
another, use a respectful
''I''-message (assertion) to teach them how that feels.
Note that these choices also apply to
each co-parent and your kids'
aunts, uncles, and mentors.
This Lesson-6 article offers a way to judge whether each living or dead
grandparent in your multi-generational family increases or decreases
nurturance level (functioning). The article suggests specific options for dealing with
grandparents who may deplete the level.