The older I get the more this word irritates me, even while admitting that ‘perception’ is something which I know I struggled with in my own days gone past.
How one perceives something can and will make or break a situation, event or relationship – especially if the perception is astray from the facts and those who make the perception seem to be unwilling to acknowledge the misperception.
Nowhere can perception or misperception be as damaging as in a relationship.
Once I ran across a thought of wisdom from Herb Vander Lugt, where he wrote, “Deep relationships are built on acceptance, understanding and listening.” These are words of wisdom that anyone beginning a possible long-term relationship should seriously listen too during a time of quiet reflection, especially if the relationship involves blending two families together.
When blending two families together, especially those where both adults have children being brought into the blend, nothing is more important than to keep the eyes and ears open to accepting what all is already present, understanding what all is already present and listening to what all is already present.
Several years ago, a couple I know married. It was the second marriage for both and each person involved had two kids (and they later had one of their own). At that point, both individuals should have been paying very close attention to what was going on around them – especially when it came to the kids.
As it is in any family, when more than one kid is involved than you have different personalities for each one – because no two kids are the same. The same holds true when you move into a blended family environment, each have different, distinct personalities.
One of life’s greatest gifts to parents is when they become grandparents and the love bonds that develop between grandparents and grandkids are different for each, and every one from birth.
When you have grandparents in the equation of a blended marriage, one has to remember that the relationships with the new grandkids will automatically be different, no matter how much you try to not make it so. Unless the new grandkids and grandparents were already family friends, then no matter how hard you try – the relationship will be different.
Without knowing it, a grandchild that feels the hope, faith, love and grace presented from grandparents will react with appreciation and excitement to seeing or arriving in the same room as a grandparent. This reaction may be running across the room looking for a big hug, or pushing ahead of others to get that grandparent affection – a reaction that when not looked at in whole, will cause a misperception of what may be happening. A new blended grandchild will be more cautious, sometimes for a long while, and that cautiousness brings misperceptions as well.
If a grandparent becomes ill to the point of needing more attention from family, that also can be found as misperceived, especially when the illness may cause the grandparent from being able to participate or attend family activities or events. Can the person whose family is not as directly affected by the illness, accept and understand the need for the other to be more involved with the parent/grandparent that is fighting the illness – that can and could make or break a blended family unit.
Wondering how that couple has done? Unfortunately, at this point, they are traveling a very rocky road, with much of the bumpiness coming from long-term misperceptions of family and events to the point where they are seeing things as they have been misperceived and not how time and works have played out.
No matter how hard the misperception can take hold, others, out of love must be willing to step up and say listen, watch, understand and accept to both sides of the blended family in order to save the unit itself – even if it means it may cost in the end.
And there you have it, ‘Grumpy Gramps’ yapping in response to something he may have seen and liked or disliked, and either way had the feeling that he needed to get his response ‘off my chest’. So maybe you can enjoy, enlighten and think about what he may have said. And if you want, feel free to respond with a comment or two on his blog and ‘Grumpy Gramps’ promises to give you some type of response. Word of caution, ‘Grumpy Gramps’ has a line that shall not be crossed regarding name calling, racism, hatred or threats and more – and if that line gets crossed, well you’ll see at that point.
As for those wondering about why I call this ‘Grumpy Gramps’, it’s because I have been around the walk of life for a long while now and for those who know me, I have my thoughts and opinions which seem to spew out on occasion much to the chagrin of my wife and a few of my grandkids. When that happens, the grandkids look at me with squinted eyes and say, ‘being grumpy, gramps’.
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Prayers, blessings and happy thoughts – ‘Grumpy Gramps’.
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