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Written By Hanley Foundation Prevention Specialist Shannon Prieto

There are many books and articles out in this world that swear they will teach you how to parent. Many people may have started with the well-known “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book that swept the nation in the early 80’s and continued its series from birth to the toddler years. I am not one of those people. I took a different approach and looked to the person in my life that was my solid role model, my grandmother. In all the years I had the pleasure of having her in my life she was as patient as a saint and spoke with the voice of an angel. Never did I hear my grandma yell, not a foul word came across her lips. Never did my grandma hit or threaten, she was as gentle as gentle comes. 

I had called my grandma too many times to count in search of advice. From temperatures to tantrums she always provided me with helpful words of wisdom. I have found out over the years to trust my gut and give it to God. Now that my children are teens and she is gone I have more questions than I know what to do with. I still talk to her and seek that wisdom from a voice unheard.   

Due to my grandma’s sweet voice, gentle touch, everlasting patience, and undying love I strive to achieve those same qualities in myself. I believe having these desirable and often unheard-of qualities not only makes one a better parent but a better person. Individuals that hold these wonderful assets in them are trustworthy, understanding, loving, and compassionate.