Show Appreciation to the Mother of Your Grandchildren

by Donne Davis on May 5, 2010

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Most Mother’s Day reminders focus on telling our mothers how much they mean to us. But I think the ones who need it even more are our daughters and daughters-in-law, the mothers of our grandchildren. Words of praise from our mothers are important no matter how old we are. Let’s face it—we all love being appreciated and respected for the job we do. And we know that moms of young children, aren’t going to get it from their kids.

In his book, Focus on the Good Stuff: The Power of Appreciation, Mike Robbins says that acknowledging others is one of the best things we can do to have a positive impact on the people around us. Mother Teresa said “there is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

Acknowledgment is an art and a skill that anyone can learn and ultimately master, but many of us have neither taken the time nor had the interest in becoming master appreciators. Robbins lists a number of different reasons why acknowledging others can be difficult:

  • We don’t want people to think we’re “kissing up” to them
  • We come from a family that doesn’t openly acknowledge people
  • We think people are just doing what they’re supposed to be doing, so why should we acknowledge them for that?

This Mother’s Day write or tell your daughter or daughter-in-law what a wonderful job she’s doing raising your grandchildren. Express your gratitude, thanks, and appreciation to her in a genuine way and be specific. If she’s doing a great job of feeding the kids healthy food, tell her how grateful you are that she cares about what her kids eat. If she does creative projects, compliment her on the adorable drawings your grandchildren send you. If she’s really great at comforting the baby when she cries, tell how much you admire her patience and nurturing. Focus on one of her strengths and let her know why you admire that about her.

Sometimes we get so self-absorbed we forget to notice what other people are doing and the impact they have on us. When we look for the good stuff and expect it in others, we’ll find it. Watch your daughter’s face light up when you catch her off-guard and acknowledge her for no apparent reason. You’ll touch her heart and have a profound impact on her.

To read more inspiration for Mother’s Day, visit the All About Parenting Blog Carnival.

{ 1 comment }

Susan Adcox May 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Very good post, Donne. I also think that many families suffer from competitiveness. If we compliment the job that someone else is doing, we devalue our own worth. So we do a lot of half-hearted praise, a lot of complimenting with criticism hidden inside, all because our egos aren’t strong enough to stand our telling someone else, “You are doing a great job.” The field of mother-daughter relationships is especially tricky. So for Mother’s Day, all you grandmothers, let’s give our daughters and daughters-in-law genuine compliments not ones with a subtext, not ones that imply a criticism.

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