“For a long time Granpa and I have felt that not all was well with you. I understand you and your state of spirit. I pray for you every night. Now I want to mention a subject because it seems to me that your children are very important for you, and here is my long experience as a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. It is essential that your children know and FEEL how much they are important for you and that you are interested in them, even if you are separated from their mother. No matter what happens, never speak ill of her in their presence. That could open a gap in your relationship with them because of the affection they may have for her."
“If they should do something wrong or undesirable, explain to them why it is not right and the consequences that might occur. Be brief, talk in a calm tone, and don’t drag out the subject more than necessary. If, on the other hand, something good occurs, explain why it is good and what good consequences may be, being honest about their quality. Always remember to praise them for things that are done well. Sometimes it might happen that a child presents a drawing, a text, or something built, that did not result as something very good and submits it to your appreciation. In such case I used to say,"it seems to me an interesting idea but I am sure that you are quite able to improve it much more.” So you don’t say it is not worth admiring, and the child feels you trust him because he/she has resources inside that can and should be developed. This gives the child a vote of confidence. Remind them that you are always at their side and if they have any problem, to talk with you and together you can look for a solution, preferably before the problem gets worse and the solution more difficult. You still are there to protect and counsel them."
“When they have questions, answer them. Sometimes you will have to say that he/she is still a little too young to understand a subject but when the right time comes, you will explain (Very few kids could understand integral calculus at the age of six.-WBD) At times you will have to say, 'I don’t know the answer but I’ll try to find out.' Try to not inform more than what is meant by the question if it is not necessary, that is, don’t bore them with your vast knowledge."
“When they are small, children tend to believe that parents are the guardians of all truth, their heroes. Of course we are not, but they will be the result and the mirror of what they see in the behavior of their parents. Our responsibility is to be sincere and truthful, and later we will be content or upset considering the results of the education that we gave them. I have seven children, cultivated, educated and successful. I made some mistakes, also, but more right things. Get them to understand that we all reap the results of what we do, and if they are in doubt as to how to act, just to ask, ‘If Mom or Dad were watching, would they agree to what I want to do?’ In case of doubt, don’t do it!"
"...In those times children were never included in family conversations and did not have many opportunities to speak. Very few parents kissed, embraced or caressed their children so as “not to spoil them”. If we were good in school (and we were), it was nothing more than our “duty to do so”. Our parents never told us about other people in the family. It was stuff “not for the children”.
“The result of all this was that we grew up without knowing how a family should be knit together, each one caring for and loving all the others, kissing and hugging, laughing and enjoying family gatherings, helping those that have problems or, at least, having their sympathy and comprehension. It is good to touch each other, using skin contact to show, “I am here and I love you.”
“...Touch your kids and your life companion. Show your love, because we all like to SENSE love in every way.”
Thanks Aunt Dorrit and Granpa!