I received a pamphlet-sized book from my Florida friend, Bea Lewis. This is the same Bea Lewis who wrote a Newsday column on favorite recipes for years. She retired to Florida with her husband, Ed Lewis (my childhood buddy). She wrote self-help columns for grandparents dealing with adult children and grandchildren. The title of her book is My Kids Are All Grown Up, So Why Are They Still Driving Me Crazy or "How to get along with your adult children and their spouses and other aliens."
Bea is a bright, intuitive grandmother with three daughters who has lived through many of these experiences. It is worthwhile reading for many of my readers of Over 60 and Getting Younger, because we can readily identify with these problems.
There are 101 tried and true tips for getting along with your adult children and their spouses. I will list a few of her suggestions and add my own editorial comment.
1) Avoid giving unsolicited advice, but be available when asked for it. Resist the desire to be needed; it's about their needs not yours.
Sometimes your advice will come back both to haunt them and you!
2) The more you tell your children what to do, the less confident they will be to make decisions on their own.
We have made enough decisions, let them make a few.
8) The respect you give to a friend is the same respect you should give your adult child.
Bad haircut, dirty house, keep it to yourself.
11) Learn to be a good listener.
It takes skill.
14) Recognize the signals when advice is not wanted.
Back off and move on, when they roll their eyes up in their heads.
16) Don't hang onto every negative word or incident.
Better days are coming.
22) Don't compare grandchildren, it will hurt your children.
Appreciate them all.
28) When siblings are at odds, don't take sides.
You will only make it worse and you are not the U.N.
36) Keep visits short and sweet!
Give everyone the space they need.
43) Who else but a grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween? (from Erma Bombeck).
As I said before, there are 101 topics to be discussed. Bea is fabulous and truly understanding.
To purchase a copy send $5 (check or money order) to:
Bea Lewis, 8781 Shoal Creek Lane
Boynton Beach, Florida 33437