Spoiled Grandparents

Not Just Spoiled Brats, But Spoiled Grandparents As Well!

“This Christmas taught me that the wife and I are spoiled grandparents,” I told Ed. My old neighbor thought I was bragging about our grandchildren showering us with a lot of gifts or affection. I set him straight that I was talking about how spoiled we are in our lifestyle as a couple. We found sharing our condo with our family this Christmas put a monkey wrench in our well-established routines and ruts. Company upsets life as you usually live it.

We are a king and a queen in our home, rising and going to bed as we desire. We share up chores by our preferences and pursue our hobbies and responsibilities with an unspoken agreement. We co-exist together with little drama or noise. When our nineteen-year-old granddaughter visited last fall, she was appalled by the lack of music and sound at our house. When she is not on her phone or her computer, she must have music to live by, because silence is unnatural to her.

This Christmas when our granddaughter and her family were here for three days, any silence was rare. Our granddaughter had her family bring us a CD player for Christmas, with gift CDs, to bring music to our lives. I didn’t tell her that I cannot read the remote for the CD player. I did not play with the buttons while she was here. I just let her run the CD machine for us. The wife cannot read the remote as well; our granddaughter forgot we have cataracts and have hearing issues.

In our season of life, we can enjoy the life that suits us. I recognize that it is dangerous to live doing what is comfortable and enjoyable to us as senior citizens as if life revolves around us. Life is a beautiful mix of seasons to value others as well as ourselves. There are the seasons of life as our own childhood families; our adult lives with our marriage and children, our empty nest time, and last of all our lives as retired grandparents.

Does the present generation of parents spoil their children? David Eberhard, a Swedish psychiatrist, has written a book, “How Children Took Power,” suggesting that spoiling children results in children who suffer for it as adults. He indicates that present-day parents are too responsive to their children’s wants and desires. He suggests that children today resent being told no, argue with or ignore parents and teachers, throw tantrums and are rude if they do not get their own way. Eberhard believes that spoiled children become anxious, depressed and unable to cope as adults. They see what they want, and the things they want, as more important than a caring, sharing, mutual, relationship with others. They see the world revolving around themselves.

I told Ed that I think that every generation has had more than its share of spoiled brats and grandparents. As a retired grandparent, I realize I can have a narrow focus on me in my life. It is hard to focus on others, but it is my goal for 2018. It will be a full-time challenge to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind, and my neighbor as myself in the coming year.”

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