Sng Tiang Kee, 72, has retired from a career in the motor industry. He is a proud grandfather of four – three girls aged eight to 15 and a boy aged 11. He received the Grandparents Award from MCYS in 2006 and is happiest spending time with his family and grandchildren.
Of late I have been giving a great deal of thought about what my legacy to you will be. I have decided to write this open letter of my thoughts.
Much has been said about the kind of legacy we should leave to our children. Should it be “enough money for a kick start to their adult life”, “a good education to start them on the path to a successful career, etc”? The list goes on.
I believe that the best legacy that one can give a grandchild is the knowledge that Grañdpa and Grandma will always be there for you, no matter what happens. And, we will always LISTEN to you before giving our opinions.
It is my firm belief that as grandparents, we should live by these rules:
• Guide and advise, not TELL them what to do;
• Your grandchild is the one who needs to make the decisions, not you;
• Never say “I TOLD YOU SO!”;
•Always be there to lend a helping hand but offer help only when you are sure help is truly needed.
Your grandchildren are the responsibility of your children, whom you have brought up to the best of your ability. Remember that you brought up your own children without truly knowing what was involved and what exactly to do.
Now, you may have the hindsight but your children may have their own ideas as to how and what they believe is best way of doing things. Remember that you cannot insulate them from all the pitfalls. You are there as the safety net and cushion.
Lastly, if no bitterness or failure is tasted, one will never know what sweetness and success is.
Loving you all, as I have always done so,
Grandpa Sng Tiang Kee
This letter is republished with permission from the National Library Board. Letters From Grandma and Grandpa (2008) is an initiative to create opportunities for youth and seniors to strengthen ties, enhance understanding and appreciate each other. Singapore grandpas and grandmas share their stories from the past, their hopes for the future, their love from their hearts, and their values for the soul. The letters capture their thoughts and feelings on important values, such as family and heritage, respect for the elders, generosity, love, courage and responsibility.
First published on 14-02-2011.
Categories: Letters from Grandpa