Yu-Huei Liao: Be Your Child’s Backup…Making Your Child Feel It’s Okay to Use Mom’s Shoulders to Cry on

Transitioning from the roles of parents to grandparents, is how the experts teach their young, translated…

Awhile ago, the famous writer, Yu-Huei Liao’s two-and-a-half year-old granddaughter went to visit her, she saw an assortment of wedding cookies, her eyes glowed and she’d opened up a packet and started eating, after two bites, the child started being naughty, “This doesn’t taste good, I want this other kind.”, reached for another packet, and, another packet was taken.

In her fast-acting hands, one followed right after another, there lain, four to five pieces of cookies, with the corners bitten off, and, Liao smiled and said to her granddaughter, “well how’s this one taste?”, the two of them were having a grand time, this showed how the grandparents are totally, spoiling the younger generations rotten.

While the Liao was having a blast with her granddaughter, her daughter-in-law who was sitting beside them said, “Mom, I hadn’t talked to my own mother in such a long time.”  Liao was shocked and asked, “What did your mother do?”, the daughter-in-law replied, “Exactly what you’re doing right now!”, and, Liao quickly shoved the cookies all into her mouth, and thanked her granddaughter for testing it all out for her.

A Professional Grandma Knew How to Please the Grandkids

When asked about the goings on of her life, Liao couldn’t stop grinning ear from ear, but when she’d talked on the subjects of “spoiling her granddaughter”, she’d not forgotten to fend herself, “I will please her, but not to the point of spoiling her rotten!”

In teaching her own children, Liao had held a firm hand, and now, she’d become a “professional granny”, she’d often stated, “the younger generations would have their own way of teaching their young”, in treating her granddaughter, she doesn’t try to educate her in any special ways, but as an educator, whenever chance presented itself, she’d wanted to enlighten her granddaughter who is extremely imaginative and full of life.

For instance, the whole family rode down south, the granddaughter and grandmother sang along with the nursery rhymes, grandma’s butt, mommy’s cloud, grandpa’s trees, like how they’d taught the children Chinese in the kindergarten settings; and when there’s light drizzle outside the car windows, “Grandma, why is there rain?”  “Grandpa, why is there dirt?”, a million why’s popped up, and, the grandparents are on high alert 24/7.

Once, Liao was giving her granddaughter a peck on her cheeks, the child titled her head, said, “not this side!”, and instead, she’d asked to kiss her grandmother’s cheek on both sides, and Liao said no, “No, you can only just kiss this side too, that’s fair!”

The Most Important Thing in Educating the Young is Teaching by Example, and All is Hidden, in the Details

Liao said, that teaching the young is unlike instructing the students in class, you don’t need to “teach”, be a better role model that’s what’s important, introspecting, is she kind toward her siblings, her parents?  How does she herself spend her money?  The important matters of educating the young is there, in the details.

Once, as she was bathing her granddaughter, Liao tried to calm her granddaughter down, she’d told her, “You wash ducky’s face, grandma wash your face, it’s so nice, when grandma was younger, I didn’t have a grandma to wash my face.”  The little girl used her foamy hands, rubbed onto her grandma’s face, “Then, I’ll wash your face for you!”, and Liao made a heart with her hands, “I taught her right!”

If the Child is Hurt, They are Willing to Tell Her

Liao said, when she married, her biggest expectation was that “her children are happy”, she’d held many conversations with her kids on their daily livings, when the kids were hurt, they got to cry on mom’s shoulders, she’d become the backup for her kids, and now, she’d become the second line of defense in the education of her young granddaughter, and, accompanying her granddaughter was like having parenthood all over again, she could become more relaxed, more patient, kinder too, Liao still didn’t change her wish for her granddaughter as her wish for her own kids, “I want her life to be filled with bliss”.

And so, because you’re a grandmother, you’re no longer on the front lines of educating the young, you’re the secondhand who helps out from time to time, and, so, you’d become more relaxed, and, in interacting with your daughter-in-law and your granddaughter, you’d understood how to interact even more smoothly with your own offspring, and that, is the lessons, learned, from the older generations’ perspectives.


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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Family Matters, Lessons, Parenting/Parenthood, Values

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