5 Things Your Grandparents Can Teach Your Children That They Won’t Learn in School

Our culture has separated the generations; it’s our job as parents to be the glue. In honor of Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, September 11, let’s take a look at some of the ways this can be done while providing important learning.

Unless we have an emergency or a new baby, we tend not to think of our own parents as a resource when it comes to raising our own kids. Naturally, we want them to have a relationship, but often our parents remain a fixture at birthdays and holidays unless they happen to live close by.

When we think about our children’s futures, we are up at nights stressing about health care, getting into a good school, and socializing. What we often fail to consider are the many skills, gifts, and perspectives that our own parents can offer our kids, and just how and why we need to take advantage of those. If you stop and think about it, there is a whole chunk of education missing from just two generations ago.

With that in mind, here are a few examples of invaluable offerings that grandparents can give our kids:

  1. Cursive. Sadly, cursive has been taken off the Common Core curriculum because it is seen as a tradition rather than a necessity. However, cursive is more than just a nostalgic handicraft. Studies have shown that it stimulates certain types of cognitive development. Check out our blog about writing by hand: (insert link). Think about your parents’ handwriting for a moment and chances are, it’s quite polished. Some members of that generation even learned calligraphy in school.
  1. Sewing. Since home economics has also gone the way of the dodo, sewing is no longer seen as a useful skill. Again, a mistake, since simple sewing skills can extend the life of clothing and become a creative medium for costumes and fashion. Both boys and girls should learn how to sew and they really enjoy it once they see all the amazing things they can do aside from sewing a button on.
  1. Gardening.  During WWII, Eleanor Roosevelt inspired the whole nation to grow “Victory Gardens” in an effort to stretch resources. Some schools have pushed for nutrition and agriculture, but we still have a long way to go. A wonderful granddad-and-me project is as simple as planting something and watching it grow. Bonus: kids are more likely to eat a veggie they grew themselves.
  1. Bargaining.  This may come as a surprise, but it used to be that the sticker price of most things was a baseline. Your parents might drive you a little crazy when they object to the price of things, but consider for a second that their generation saw value as negotiable, a serious advantage when your child becomes an adult. They can teach your kids how to drive a hard bargain ad avoid getting overcharged.
  1. Home and car maintenance. With ever increasing levels of automation, children have little idea how their cars work, much less the plumbing. They should know how to shut off a water main, how to change a tire, or what to do when a circuit breaker blows.

These little bits of know-how can be a huge help when your children grow to be adults, but they will also add confidence now. The big bonus, however, is that that acquire these skills from their grandparents, an exchange that will strengthen their relationship too – something that all participants will value for the rest of their lives.





  1. http://www.internetsafety101.org/cyberbullyingstatistics.htm
  2. http://www.onlinesafetysite.com/P1/Teenstats.htm
  3. http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/cyberbullying-social-media.html
  4. http://www.eharmony.com.au/dating-advice/trust-and-safety/10-ways-to-catch-out-a-catfish#.V18GFJMrJqw


About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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