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Ten things we should tell our granddaughters

(42 Posts)
LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 26-Sep-13 11:25:39

The first of this week's two guest blogs comes from Melissa Benn (daughter of Tony). Taken from her new book, Melissa gives us ten of the most important things we should be telling our granddaughters. What would you tell yours?

HildaW Thu 26-Sep-13 17:27:21

My Mother was one of those women in the 1950s who quickly dropped her few female friends upon marrying - not unusual in those days. I grew up shy and not very good at making or keeping girl friends and, as I got older, not really understanding the importance of grown up after that long preamble I'd say ................learn to make and maintain quality female friendships.

vampirequeen Thu 26-Sep-13 21:11:00

Same thing I told my daughters......make sure you can afford to maintain yourself so that a man is an appendage you choose to have rather than someone you are financially tied to and/or reliant on.

I know that's bitter and cynical but if you knew my ex you'd understand grin

Hebs Thu 26-Sep-13 22:15:42

vampirequeen I would tell my granddaughter, if I could, like yourself, after not one but two violent marriages, always be self sufficient and rely on yourself

merlotgran Thu 26-Sep-13 22:25:38

I tell them, Advice is free. It costs nothing to listen but if doubt still lingers, go with your instincts.

Hunt Thu 26-Sep-13 23:11:59

I told my GD to maintain her lovely writing - it got her her first job!

Eloethan Fri 27-Sep-13 00:04:50

My granny (who died when I was 5) used to say to my mum "Handsome is as handsome does".

MiceElf Fri 27-Sep-13 06:28:29

I loved the blog, so full of wisdom, but there are two points that I would expand. The first is where she talks about anger and describes it is normal. I'm not sure that's true. Not everyone feels anger, but they may be indignant or unhappy about injustice, unfairness and the everyday knocks that we all experience. It's learning how not to internalise this and how to respond to and manage some of the dysfunctional people that our granddaughters may meet, that is important. And how to turn disquiet about those huge national and world issues into effective collective action which is a vital part of becoming an effective citizen.

She also mentions shame. Indeed, girls should not be ashamed if they have done nothing to be ashamed of, but if they have - if they have said unkind or untrue or hurtful things about another, then I think shame is an appropriate response and would help them to mend their ways in the future.

janeainsworth Fri 27-Sep-13 07:59:26

MiceElf I agree with you about learning to manage anger appropriately. I would say it is about responding assertively and not aggressively.
I'm not sure about shame.
I remember hearing a psychologist say once that shame was a very damaging emotion. I certainly don't like what seems to be the modern response of 'shit happens, it was no-one's fault and we'll just learn lessons and move on' but at the same time I do think we need to be able to forgive ourselves, rather than being burdened by guilt and shame for the rest of our lives.

MiceElf Fri 27-Sep-13 08:08:34

I don't mean 'being burdened by guilt and shame for the rest of our lives'. But I do mean being ashamed of hurtful or cruel actions - and then being prepared to make amends and apologise to make things right. Then, it's time to move on.

Aka Fri 27-Sep-13 08:19:35

I'd tell my granddaughters

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.”

― Tupac Shakur

janeainsworth Fri 27-Sep-13 08:36:13

Agree with that, MiceElf

HildaW Fri 27-Sep-13 10:05:33

Aka......agree with that one......with bells on!

Rion Fri 27-Sep-13 11:40:25

My granddaughter has just started at university and she is not very confident so this article struck a chord with me. I would certainly like to convince her that we all make mistakes or have failures sometimes. They are part of life and learning and we must pick ourselves up and get on, and hopefully be a stronger and more understanding character for a lesson learned.

goldengirl Fri 27-Sep-13 11:50:35

'No experience is ever wasted'

gracesmum Fri 27-Sep-13 12:02:31

I suppose this may go back to "what you have" - and certainly with 3 DDs I would not have argued with any of it - but I have 2 grandsons and I think, when they are old enough I would tell them all the same things. My point is that we are talking about people, about * human beings* and while our generation and maybe our daughters have had to fight in some cases to achieve equality, the education of boys towards equality, fairness, justice, is every bit as important.

At the risk of upsetting (maybe) feminists, I think many young men have an uphill struggle with relationships, self image, self expression and expectations these days and I don't envy them.

fatfairy Fri 27-Sep-13 12:35:51

I think any child - girl or boy - needs to learn respect: for themselves, for others. Respect for self means never feeling unworthy when it's not justified, never having to give way when you feel your views or needs are valid, never "making do, it's only me". Respect for others means valuing others - for their differences as much as their similarities to yourself - and treating them as you would wish to be treated (back to "respect for self" again).

BAnanas Fri 27-Sep-13 13:29:36

Oh god where to start, my granddaughter is only 3 and a half, but if she were a whole lot older, here are a few things I would want to bring up.

Don't let on line pornography warp your self esteem, don't be persuaded to do anything against your better judgement and doesn't feel is right for you. Be your own person and stand up for what you think and feel, peer pressure won't matter when you are really grown up.

The best part of the day is often the early part, try not to sleep through it, although inevitably you will when you are late teens, try not to do it for too long.

Acquaint yourself with an atlas, on line or otherwise, it's good to know where other countries are located and a bit about them.

Accoutrements aren't important they are only stuff. yeah even handbags, sometimes it's just the longing, once you get that "must have" it can cease to matter.

Don't assume your grandparents have never done anything with their lives, I'm speaking with my genealogist's hat on here,I wish I'd asked mine more, ask them about their early life and what they remembered about their own grandparents. Remember both sides of the family went into contributing to some of your traits.

Try not to ignore bank statements like I did in my youth, being an ostrich doesn't help when you have failed to rein in your spending.

Try and respect other people's opinions if they are different from yours and try to find out why they hold them.

Don't make snap judgements about people until you get to know them properly, we are all wrong sometimes.

Be kind to animals.

Don't over pluck your eyebrows in case you can't put them back. You can't have threaded what you don't have!

Jendurham Fri 27-Sep-13 16:04:47

BAnanas, never knew any of my grandparents, so could not ask them anything, but the more I research into my grandparents' grandparents, the more I admire them, particularly the women who held the families together, despite having 8 or 9 living children. What I have also found out is that, if a father died, the children were passed around, went to live with an aunt or uncle or older cousin.
It doesn't seem to happen so much now, or does it?

NonnaB Fri 27-Sep-13 16:41:18

I have so much to pass on but will put it in a sentence.
Nothing stays the same forever.

Mishap Fri 27-Sep-13 17:31:55

Be kind to people - there is nothing more important in this world whether for boy or girl.

Love the way you look.

absent Fri 27-Sep-13 19:35:45

Take more notice of how people behave and what they do than any advice they offer.

juneh Fri 27-Sep-13 20:26:56

My advice to my two little granddaughters is how to empathise with others even the animals in their care.
For example when they are angry with others I suggest they might like to imagine what it feels like to be the other end of their anger. Also when they are upset with each other I ask them to stop and go away for a few minutes rather than fighting, think about what they want each other to know.
With animals I give the animal a voice and tell my little granddaughters how scared they are when she shouts at them. We talk about how an animal in our care is completely dependent upon us and cannot find food themselves or water and must be regularly cared for as they are the carer of this particular pet etc.

wurzel Mon 30-Sep-13 20:59:35

For a loving partnership/marriage, watch how the other person treats family, friends; or if they even have any! Also watch how they treat people less 'important' than themselves, co-workers and animals. Do
they demean others to make themselves feel better - it's a common
trait of bullies. I'm sure your own grandchildren model the adage of
treating others as you wish to be treated yourself.

annodomini Mon 30-Sep-13 21:07:16

Don't say yes to a proposal of marriage before you have met his parents.
Look after your teeth.