November 16, 2019:
Viettia Newcomb is the younger sister of my wife’s late mother. In the 31 years CarolAnn and I have been married Viettia (the second i is silent) has been a happy part of my life and I consider her my Auntie, too. I love her dearly.
At 84 she is a no-nonsense manager of a Northern California mobile home park. She doesn’t suffer fools and will put them in their place but she also laughs all the time and has the most pure and loving heart you will ever find.
Viettia has known great joy, tragedy and hard times in her life and taken their lessons to heart.
She’s also damned smart. She posted the following piece of advice on Facebook today, tagging and addressing specific members of her family but posted for the world to read. With her permission I am sharing it with you here.
This is the best, most down-to-earth parenting advice I have ever read and it doesn’t require a whole book filled with psycho-babble.
Children and parents of all ages, live and learn…
I proudly give you Auntie Viettia:
For all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I have advice. Remember always – advice is free, and you can take it or leave it.
Sing to your babies. Tell them stories, read them stories, and give them your love and attention.
Dry cornstarch is better than any over the counter baby powder you will ever find, and much cheaper.
You do not “spoil” a baby with love. The spoiling occurs when you allow your child to be unruly, or a bully.
Teach your baby love, concern for others, and teach him or her that while you love them, you will not allow them to be unruly. Our basic concern for our children should be that we raise them to be people others will like and admire. We should not allow our babies to be the kind of people others do not want to be around. This training must start early.
To realize the wisdom of this, look at the children of your friends and relatives, and think how you feel about them and how you would wish people to feel about your children.
This advice comes from Grandma aka Great Grandma aka Big Grandma.
I sincerely love all of you, my dears, and I care every day of the world.