1. Play it as simple as you can
No fancy parenting shenanigans from books needed. “I love you” is all it takes to confuse and make a screaming, yelling, tantrum teen think about the impact of their actions/tone of voice on you.
2. Get them involved in your world
My grandma taught me how to apply eyeliner in one stroke – a simple trick she knew, but I swear it still amazes my girl friends even to this day! Among other things, I really loved it when she taught me how to knit, paint, and especially how she can probably feed an entire army from leftovers in the fridge. That was super cool!
3. Share your stories
Hearing ‘back in the day’ stuff just does something really cool – it makes us feel a bit more grateful about today’s world, and a bit more sympathetic and open to the world our grandparents experienced. I LOVE it when my grandparents tell us about the war, and their parents. That is SO AWESOME!
4. Don’t feel discouraged – feel encouraged!
You have a lot to teach us, and we may sometimes forget it...sometimes because we don’t have much time to hear you out. Share as much as you can – whenever there’s a dinner, a second of silence, anything – we need to keep learning from you, even if we don’t admit it – the only way we can go forward in the future is if we’re educated enough about the past to repeat the good things, and avoid the mistakes. We appreciate and want to learn from you, even if you don’t know what Facebook, MySpace, YouTube or Bebo is : )
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