As kids most of us sometime or another have had "The Lecture". My dad was good at giving them and believe it or not had a way of getting through. Maybe it was the honesty, as he would use himself as an example. Of course some were far fetched, but he never put on a front. Dad wasn't afraid to tell us what he did as a kid. He also wasn't afraid to tell us of the punishment he received either. Maybe that was the part that made us listen carefully. We may have been just a bit afraid of the punishment. We weren't perfect kids, but my parents had a pretty good hold on it.
I went through the same thing when my kids were of age. Tried to be honest, tried to listen and punished when needed. There were lectures and examples used. I called upon my dad for advice a few times and between his chuckles, he was always able to offer some useful advice. I was able to make it through their teenage years without to many problems. It was a sigh of relief.
But it didn't end there. I have a pretty good relationship with my kids and am able to talk openly with them. I'm grateful for that. I've kept my nose out of the raising of their children because from what I can see they're doing a good job.
My daughter has recently moved back home and along with her came "Bella" her dog, which I'm not letting go when she leaves. We also now have the twins (11 year old girls) a few nights a week. The girls are beginning to develop their own personalities and starting to branch out on their own. Along with that comes the fights. My daughter does a pretty good job of handling things, but the other night I was asked to talk to them. "What!" "Grandparents aren't supposed to lecture" was my first thought. "I'm done with this". Then I remember calling on my dad, and figured this must be part of the duty. It turned out that it wasn't a lecture, just a talk. A talk about making choices, fighting with each other, and walking away from situations that you know are not going to turn out well. This was over dinner, and as I began to talk to them I noticed that they were both staring at me with somewhat wide eyes. Neither of them were eating. I had to stop and lighten it up a little before I burst into laughter. This seemed to ease the frightening looks on their faces. We were warned as kids not to be bad in front of our Grandparents. I spent some time being frightened of my grandfather who turned out to be one of the most understanding and funniest people I have ever known. I have now mentioned to both my children that their kids need to be normal in front of us. I'm not feeling to good about them ever having to be afraid of their grandparents. Besides, if they act up I may take a trip down memory lane and go for the old "you're grounded".