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SpringRidge Seniors Share Motherly Advice
05-2-2019

At SpringRidge at Charbonneau, residents have a wealth of motherly advice to share with first-time mothers.

The seniors at the active retirement community – many who are now grandmothers and great-grandmothers—all agree times have changed since they raised their children; however, the fundamentals of parenting such as love, communication and acceptance are at the heart of raising a well-rounded, successful child.

Gerry Kuskey, 91, encourages mothers to be aware of the importance of communication from the day the child is born. She recommends creating a safe environment where children are able to be open and honest about their feelings, without fear of judgment or repercussions.

“A parent has to establish the foundation where the child feels most comfortable approaching them with a problem,” she advises. “Often, parents end up hearing things about their child through the ‘grapevine’. Should this happen, you have to keep your cool and handle the situation properly so your child knows he or she is still loved and can confide in you next time.”

Gerry’s SpringRidge neighbor Susan Hand, 81, says it is important moms spend quality time with their children instead of stressing about household chores.

“I spent all day with my two boys but I used to sweat the small stuff. I was much too fussy, requiring that everything be kept in its place,” she said. “Looking back, that was ridiculous. There should have been a happy medium.”

Her advice to first-time mothers is to prioritize daily chores and stop worrying about those at the bottom of the list.

“Don’t focus so much on laundry or dusting,” she added. “Instead, spend the extra time with your child doing a meaningful activity. If the laundry doesn’t get done today, it can get done tomorrow.”

Both Gerry and Susan also point out the importance of mothers finding time for themselves. While the kids are certainly a priority, self-care is of the utmost importance.

Their SpringRidge neighbors also shared these words of wisdom:

  • “Teach love, kindness, understanding and patience so that your child will do the same for others.” - Gloria DePietro
  •  “Always plan things you and your child can enjoy together. Try making a schedule, start with small doses of time together and then increase it.” – Annie Larson
  • “Enjoy your children while they are young as they grow very quickly and you want to always have those memories.” - Cyd Kines
  • “Tell each child at least once a day ‘I love you!’” – Ruth Corcoran
  • “As your children grow, find time daily to play with them. Let them pick the activity. Some of my fondest memories are of the time spent as a family playing games.” - April Lewis.
  •  “Trust your instinct.” – Marcia McQueston
  • “Keep your sense of humor!” – Jeanette Johnson
  •  “Let each child do what is important to him or her.” – Pat Foster
  • “Pick your battles.” – Janice Boals
  • “Give your children opportunities to experience new adventures, Be sure to tell them about your childhood and share family traditions.” – Sarah Prasoloff

The grandmothers also encouraged today’s mothers to use technology to bridge the gap between generations if their families don’t live close by. Social media, video conferencing and even smartphone apps are often embraced by older adults and are great tools for staying in touch.

“There are only 24 hours in a day,” said Susan. “Mothers should delegate that time the best and smartest way they can. Everything else will fall into place.”

The SpringRidge at Charbonneau campus offers a comprehensive menu of lifestyle options including CARF-accredited independent living as well as assisted living and memory care services. For more information or to schedule a personal tour, please call 503-446-6250 or visit SpringRidgeatCharbonneau.com.

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