With the start of a new year, I always try to reflect on the previous year and look ahead to what the new year will bring…

Talking About Resolutions with My Grandkids

You can’t watch much TV or read any newspaper without being reminded to lose weight, exercise more and buy things you don’t really need. Making resolutions is something I don’t do. I don’t sit down and write a list of how I want to change or improve my life. Winning the lottery would probably be on the top of my list, but since I’ve never bought a lottery ticket, winning is not a likely scenario.

On New Year’s Day, I mentioned to my grandkids that I was reflecting on last year and thinking about resolutions for 2018. They immediately wanted to know what those resolutions were. Being the old teacher, I put it back on them. What would they resolve for 2018?

They were not short of answers. Some focused on school, graduation, contributing to a winning baseball team, working more hours at their job and getting a new car. (I didn’t bother to tell my granddaughter she could get a new car if I won the lottery because that wasn’t ever going to happen.) It was obvious their resolutions were reflections on the past year and putting their hopes and dreams into the future.

Ask we talked about the future, one granddaughter asked who would be president in three years. Wow! Where did that come from? I wasn’t quite sure whether to reflect on the 2017 political scene or just continue listening.

Learning More About My Grandkids’ Interests

Whether one is liberal or conservative, we’re bombarded with political news online, in print and on TV. I try to read articles with a balanced view and watch several different channels to give me a wide spectrum that looks at both sides. Then, I think about our grandkids. What different lives they are leading.

When I grew up in Crete, NE, we had three TV channels to choose from (all black and white), and we received the Crete News every Thursday, which included mostly local news. In our home, we had knowledge of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, but it was knowledge limited by the three channels. Neither of my parents were politically involved.

The past 50+ years have had a marked difference in how we receive information. One hundred channels with many points of view are available for all to watch. Do the grandkids even watch those? I know they don’t read newspapers, unless it’s the sports page. However, they’re all taking some type of social studies/social science class, which involves discussing current events. They enjoy these classes and the lively discussions.

What I discovered was my grandkids care deeply about the world around them but have limited direct involvement. They have marched in a protest and tied ribbons around trees. As we discussed their situations, they enlightened me on where they stand. They are fairly liberal and want the best for their peers and those who are oppressed.

They continued the conversation saying they’re so very busy. Maintaining their good grades, participating in multiple high school activities, working, finding the right college and being teenagers are what keeps them busy. They have specific points of view, but they admitted school and friends come first.

Offering My Grandkids Advice for the New Year

All four of the grandkids admitted they could be more involved, but weren’t quite sure how to fit everything in their schedule. They expressed strong feelings about current events, but weren’t quite sure how to do anything about it. They really do care.

I was careful not to tell them what to do and how to do it. Heck, who knows what will occupy the news channels in 2018. My word of advice to my wonderful grandchildren was to stay informed in whatever way they thought best, keep an open mind and ask their Grandma if they ever had any questions.

We seem to have come a long way from three channels on TV. But have we really? Most of our present options come with a predetermined slant. Maybe only three options on the TV produced a more thoughtful public. As I hope the grandkids have learned, listening to differing points of view help to make for better decision-making. Now that would be a great start to a better 2018.

Nancy Becker

Nancy Becker

Grandkids & Grandparents

I have four grandchildren ages 14-17. In some ways, I’m a very typical grandma, always proud of everything the kids do and wanting to help support them in whatever way I can. In other ways, I’m not very typical. My goal as a blogger is to share my thoughts and experiences that I think are funny and meaningful as I adventure through grandmahood.

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