What you can Learn from your Grandparents

Some may view their Grandparents are doddery, old, softly spoken beings that sit in the corner eating corned beef accompanied by a bit of a funny smell.  In truth Grandparents have experienced most things that you have at least once in their lives, probably several times.  Listening to their advice and stories could lead you towards solving some of you problems, of course no-one is the font of all knowledge but some people come pretty close.  Your Grandparents have gone through it all: childhood, adolescence, relationships, children, empty nests, work related issues, turning 30/40/50 etc and, for the lucky ones, retirement.

You want to live a greener life, ask your Grandparents for pointers.  We come from a disposable society, your Grandparents, depending on their age, grew up in a time when you mend and make do.  They’ll tell you how to chop your sheets in half and sew the outer edges together so that they worn bits are now on the outside.  How to fold your toilet roll inners up at the end and staple them making perfect seedling pots.  How to make a full meal from the left overs from the night before.  These are only a few of the things that I have learnt from my Grandfather.  Each Grandparent will probably have different ideas so it’s worth comparing notes with your friends on how each of you Grandparents reused items.

Relationships are very difficult, they take a lot of hard work, listening and consideration to make it work.  You Grandparents have been through it all before and will at least lend a listening ear and probably a few pearls of wisdom.  And don’t think for a minute that sex wasn’t an issue when they were young, it was it just wasn’t discussed and publicised a bit more, in fact during the second world war most teens were losing their virginity in case they died and never got the chance to.   It won’t solve all you relationship problems for ever but you might be able to see things from a long term perspective a little better.

You could also learn money management and appreciation.  There wasn’t credit readily available and most people didn’t have disposable incomes they lives hand to mouth, what little extra they did have was saved toward buying new or second hand luxuries.  Things are always appreciated more when you have to wait and save.  Don’t get yourself into debt make do a bit longer and save for that item rather than struggling to pay it off afterwards.  It’ll also save you money in the long run, paying interest on the money you’ve borrowed can often cost you dear.  Take a page out of you Grandparents books and save first buy later.

In this day of convenience food and ready meals who couldn’t do without a lesson on healthy eating?  Take advice from your Grandparents as they had to cook all their meals from scratch from mainly fresh food every day.  Most wouldn’t have had a freezer when they were young so the choice was tinned, dried or fresh food.  This is a much healthier existence than the modern day boil in the bag or bang in the oven meals.

Learn about your culture.  We all are living in such multi cultural societies now-a-days, which is great, but valuable parts of each culture are getting lost through the generations.  Grandparents will have more knowledge than you on what your culture entails, how to celebrate the festivals, what the festivals mean.  There are so many aspects to each culture that it’s hard to know them all.  Find them out now before they get lost.

Who do you think you are?  Well you Grandparents will likely know more about their own parents and Grandparents, garner this knowledge now and record it for future generations.  I’m not necessarily talking about dates and names but more personalities, funny stories, likes and dislikes.  Who all the people in those black and white photos are.  Make a family album together with facts and figures, tales and personalities.

You Grandparents would also be able to teach you how to make the most of your hobbies whether that be gardening, knitting, making your own clothes, cooking, cake decorating, DIY or many other things. 

You’d be surprised what your Grandparent can teach you if you take the time to listen.