By: Jayne Griffin
Director of Education
“I love you, G’Mom.” “I love you more, Hill!”
This conversational exchange takes place every time my grandson, Hill and I find ourselves alone on an adventure. As much as I treasure Hill’s words, I am even more aware of the words I offer in return.
What does it mean to love a child more than he loves me? As a grandparent, showing three-year-old Hill how much I love him often translates into sacrificing time in the office so I can spend a couple of hours playing in the Museum with him or it may mean giving up some at-home “me” time to build some structures out of blocks with him.
Recently, I thought grandparent love meant buying the 14-inch double doozie chocolate chip cookie with vanilla butter-cream frosting from Sam’s because Hill said he wanted a cookie for a snack! Needless to say, my daughter-in-law was not impressed when I sent 13.5 inches of the cookie home with Hill!
The more I think about what it means to really love a child more than he loves me, I realize that it may mean loving him enough to let him suffer just a little. We are so focused on protecting our children, but I wonder how often we think about letting them do without so they can learn to self-regulate? If we protect our children and grandchildren from every bad or difficult situation and indulge their every whim, do we really love them more? Or, does really loving a child mean that we let him suffer just enough to make him stronger so when the storms of life come, he will have learned perseverance and strength?
Hmmmm, Maybe I’ll have a bite of that double doozie chocolate chip cookie as I ponder this question!