This semester I am taking a class that focuses on helping families and working with families in terms of counseling and therapy. The couple of activities that we have done has really gotten my brain working on what values my family (parents and grandparents) holds and those that I still incorporate into my family today. Most of the values that I still hold onto today I didn’t learn from my parents – instead I learned from watching my grandparents create and maintain a solid family structure.
It was hard remembering the bad moments with my parents – my dad not being in my life or wanting anything to do with me and my mom pushing all four of us aside to bar hop and date dudes half her age. In order for me to recognize the values that I feel are important and pass them onto my children I needed to dive deep into these memories. I had so many emotions running wild – sad, hurt, angry, confusion. There are parts of those memories that I will never understand and the confusion will always remain.
Remembering the values my grandparents instilled in us allowed me to focus more on the good and less on the bad. I was able to take away a positive outlook and reflect that into how I raise my kids. I strive everyday to make my girls’ life a whole lot more meaningful than my mom did mine.
First and foremost, open communication. My kids will always be able to have 100% open communication with me. I never had that connection with my mom and I do not want my kids to feel like I did. Yes, I had my grandma and believe me when I say we talked all the time, about everything. My grandma taught me all I know about being a female – from puberty to birthing kids. Conversations that you would normally have with your mom I had with my grandma.
Honesty. Always be honest with one another. There was never a moment that I questioned what was being told to me by my grandparents. With my mom I always wondered whether or not she was actually being honest… that wasn’t something I ever worried about with my grandparents.
Another thing I learned from my grandparents was foundation and stability. My mom was always jumping from guy to guy, job to job, etc.. right in front of my eyes. By living with my grandparents I was able to see what love, marriage, and life are supposed to look like. Commitment, stability, consistency, etc.
I could go on and on about all the life lessons and values I have learned but I feel as if what I have said is enough for right now. Maybe one day I will write exactly what happened throughout my childhood in a more detailed post.
With all that being said.. needless to say I was a lot closer to my grandparents than my mom. I learned a lot of life’s valuable lessons from them and still incorporate them into my life now. I am so very thankful that I was able to experience all that I did with my grandparents.
I’m both excited and nervous about what this class will bring about. I know that it will bring up lots of memories and emotions which can be both a good and bad thing.
What values did you continue on into your adult life?