“Reconnect; the youth’s potential and the elder’s wisdom can become the world’s most valuable asset”…Vlada
Social disconnection is just one of the side effects of our busy lives. We are preoccupied with overbooked schedules and an influx of electronic engagements. We all know it, see it, and to some extent may even resent it.
Social disconnection can be devastating for our youth. Their sense of self, stability, wellbeing, security and guidance depends on social connection.
Never in the history of humanity have our children been influenced and impacted from various outlets such as social media and the internet; often exposing youth to much misleading or inappropriate information. Without proper guidance, such overload of information can cause overwhelming anxiety and distress among youth.
Looking back at my childhood, when I think of people and experiences which helped shape me into the person I am today, my thoughts always go back to my grandmother. I was fortunate to grow up in a family where both grandparents lived with my parents and my siblings. My grandmother was a strong and wise matriarch and presence was a crucial factor in my early upbringing.
Grandparents are an important link to family culture, history and tradition. Knowing and understanding our heritage gives our children a sense of belonging. Grandparents are valuable and loving teachers of important life skills like gardening, cooking or teaching trades like building or repairing things around the house. These are just some of the ways grandparents can step in and fill kids’ idle time with valuable lessons. More importantly, while engaging kids in these lessons, grandparents will indirectly provide them with important emotional support.
Luckily, more parents and grandparents today are taking steps to reclaim their valuable role in their childrens’ and grandchildrens’ early upbringing. I was fortunate to meet one of these extraordinary moms and grandmothers, whose love for family is the highest priority in life.
Please meet Gail Boros:
How important is it for you to pass family stories and traditions onto your grandkids and why?
I believe it’s very important to share stories and traditions with my grandchildren. It provides a sense of family history and can strengthen the ties. I frequently show family pictures to my grandchildren and hope as they grow older to share stories of my life experiences, as well as stories of their parents and other family members.
Gail, could you tell us what made you decide to put your career aside and invest your time into caring for your family?
My husband had an excellent job opportunity in San Diego so we made the decision to move across the country when I was pregnant with our first child. This also meant I would be leaving a very good corporate job. The original idea was for me to find a new job after we were settled in San Diego. However, it quickly became apparent to me that I did not want to leave my new son. My priorities had changed and my number one priority was to care for him. I was in the fortunate position to be able to make the decision to not reenter the corporate world and devote my time to raising my son. I did have concerns about the loss of the “strokes of the business world” and if it would impact my self esteem. However, I found becoming a full time mom was the most rewarding job I had ever done and one of the best decisions I had ever made. Once my children were in school, I consulted part time, but my main focus and attention were always on raising my three children.
What are some of the most important lessons you learned in life and as a parent that you wish to teach to your grandkids?
One of the most important lessons I have learned is the great gift a mother gives her child with unconditional and pure love. It provides a foundation of security and stability, which generates feeling loved and accepted in order to become self-assured and independent. The common saying of giving children roots and wings. My grandchildren are young, but I hope as time passes they will understand the importance of unconditional love and unwavering support for loved ones. I also hope to be able to teach my grandchildren the value of being kind and patient to everyone, to be able to laugh at oneself and have a sense of humor. My five year old grandson always has a new joke for me and I’m now reciprocating with jokes for him.
What are some of the life skills you are teaching your grandkids?
Some of the lifeskills I am teaching my grandchildren are the importance of learning and a love of reading and being curious. We read together, explore together, and I ask a lot of questions! I love to see them ponder over my questions. I am trying to teach them to have an appreciation for music and enjoy watching them “play” my piano. I’m also trying to teach good manners and values, and, recently, the delight of planting seeds and watching them grow!
What kid of legacy do you wish to leave onto your grandchildren?
I wish to be remembered as a grandmother who had a strong commitment to family, who always provided support, strength and guidance with love, grace and smiles!