Q: In an effort to wise me up, my grandfather often chatted with me about his life experiences. I was his oldest grandson, and he made an effort to teach me the importance of a positive attitude. His advice has helped me overcome many obstacles in my life.
I've made my share of mistakes in my life but gotten through them all. Now, I'm trying to do the same thing for my grandchildren that my grandfather did for me.
How can I get the message across?
A: Older generations have always struggled to pass their wisdom on to their grandchildren. But even the most well-meaning grandparents find it difficult to get the message across to a young and impatient generation.
Often we become wiser indirectly, by observing what happens to others. It seems that you now have the perfect opportunity to turn your dilemma into a learning experience for your own grandchildren.
I suggest that you do more than just tell your grandchildren about the lessons you've learned. Share the stories behind your lessons, and show them that so-called failures can be valuable steppingstones on our paths to wisdom and happiness.
Having been around long enough to have grandkids, you've probably learned that knowledge comes from experience — trial and error. Gaining wisdom is a process that is different for everybody. It's easy for some but much more difficult for others.
It's especially important to impart the value of a positive attitude to weather through the tough times. Sometimes success can be described simply as getting up one more time than we fall down. It's a percentage game — even the best hitters in baseball fail seven out of 10 times!
If you want to share this lesson, get your audience to pay attention. Examples are more engaging than platitudes, and your grandchildren will be more likely to remember your anecdotes.
Stay positive, and encourage your grandchildren to love themselves and others. Don't forget to tell them how much you love them, too! — Doug
Q: We're happy to have celebrated my mother's 89th birthday this year, but over the holidays she got into a small car accident, and our family is worried.
How do we know whether she's safe to drive?
A: Without making a big deal of it, spend some time with her to see her driving habits. If you tell her you're monitoring her, she may act differently than usual. If you see something concerning, encourage her to give up her license.
You can also try to address any additional factors.
Make sure that your mother has been to a recent checkup with an optometrist. If she can't see, she can't drive.
Many seniors aren't careful about their alcohol consumption and drive under the influence. As we get older, our ability to tolerate alcohol decreases, and medications also may interfere. Your mother may not be aware of the impact of these factors on her driving. We also tend to drink more around this time of year.
It's often difficult to see ourselves critically. You can act as an outside eye who can tell her the truth about her driving.
Next, all you have to do is convince her of your findings! — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com