The Oklahoman

The benefits of teaching grandchild­ren


QUESTION: In some elementary schools, cursive writing is no longer taught. My grandchild­ren don’t know how to write their names. Do you think it is OK if I teach them how to write their signatures so they can sign official documents when necessary? Or is that something their parents should be teaching them?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: Of course! I’m sure if you asked their parents they’d say yes! I always say yes when someone is wanting to help or spend time with my kids. You sound like a wonderful grandmothe­r! Those grandchild­ren are lucky to have you.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: Ask their parents if they mind if you teach them. I’m sure they would be thrilled to have someone teach their children a skill like that, if the children will listen. It’s too bad cursive isn’t taught in schools – my children have varying degrees of familiarit­y with it, but sometimes they have needed to be able read or write it better and they just didn’t learn it. So if you have willing learners, and parents who are open to you being the teacher, then go for it! Parents are really busy trying to stay on top of the basics, and it’s hard to stay on top of everything. Approach it in a positive way for everyone and see what happens.

HELEN’S ANSWER: The very best thing about being a grandparen­t is that the children are nice enough to listen to you. They are respectful and seem to appreciate their grandparen­ts and all they have to say. Absolutely, teach them to write their names, and anything else you want them to learn. My youngest granddaugh­ter wants to learn how to needlepoin­t and I cannot wait to teach her. My oldest grandchild­ren were precious enough to let me teach them how to play cards (poker). Those are two of my favorite things to do, and I got to share them.

You might run it by their parents first, but hopefully, you can teach them wonderful things!

GUEST’S ANSWER: Devonne Carter, owner, Betty Lou’s Flowers and Gifts: Our world is changing isn’t it? Children do not know how to write in cursive anymore. I was shocked when I saw my adult children pecking at the keyboard with their index fingers. I said, “I thought you took keyboardin­g in middle school!” I remember Typing 1 and Typing 2 with our manual typewriter­s all lined up in rows when I was in high school. I cannot keep up with the new math or the old math these days!

There are many elements of our lives that have been lost due to the changing times. As our family is planning a wedding, I think about how my mom sewed my wedding dress, all the bridemaids’ dresses and her’s as well. When we went to a formal, we went to the store and chose a pattern and fabric. Now, you just go to your computer and order your dress and it might even be delivered the next day to your front porch.

My grandma taught me how to sew. She had to sew her dresses from feed sacks during the Depression to have anything to wear. I didn’t have to sew my own clothes to have any, as we had CR Anthony’s to shop in and the JC Penney’s catalog to get clothes from. The time grandma spent with me teaching me how to sew, crochet, pick beans and then snap them, as well as baking in her kitchen growing up, was more than just lessons about how to run a household. Our time spent together was filled with life invaluable lessons.

It was a way to pass her family values to me. It was a way to teach me about my family heritage and family history. By all means, teach your children cursive writing! Teach them all about your childhood and the lessons in life you have learned. Spend time with them and give them attention. Those are the best gifts you can give children.

 ?? 20-40-60 Etiquette Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Callie Athey and Helen Ford Wallace Guest columnists ??
20-40-60 Etiquette Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Callie Athey and Helen Ford Wallace Guest columnists
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