We Love Grandparenting And Laughter

Sweet Little GirlPractice laughing it works. Deliberately think of a funny incident or joke, or ask your grandchild to tell you one of theirs. Don’t wait for laughter to come to you . . . make it happen. And smile on purpose. Even if you don’t feel like it, just using those muscles in your face actually signals your brain to release the chemicals that make you happy. So when it comes to smiles, follow that saying,”fake it until you make it!” Besides, the more you smile, the more everyone around you will smile and the more relaxed you’ll all be. 

The grand-parenting stresses in our lives are now part of our lives, and so are their symptoms. We cannot ignore them, must not feel guilty about them, and should not let them overwhelm us. The time to take care of yourself is now! The time to enjoy your life is now! I’ve seen that there is no single “right way” to grandparent. Just make sure that you’re not on automatic pilot or playing a role written by others. Make sure the way you are grand-parenting is the way you want to grandparent. If its’ not, change it . . . to your way.

Although there are probably as many different types of grandparents as there are grandparents, here is a few basic archetypes, which one, or more sounds familiar? The Enforce, The Spoiler, The Executive, The Globetrotter ( world traveler and include your grandchildren), The Environmentalist, The Buddy, and then there is The Pushover, The Cuddler,The Coach, and The Counselor, just to name a few, and I am sure that you add more. The archetypes are fun and help us to take a look at ourselves, recognize ourselves, smile at ourselves, compare ourselves to our parents and grandparents, and to make more deliberate and conscious choices about how we want to grandparent. 

All “types” are created equal. Different,  but equal. so type doesn’t matter, so long as you are loving and supportive. Roll around on the floor with them or read to them a story, both work. Get involved in whatever they are passionate about or get them excited about your interests both are great. Tuck them in  and read to them or let them stay up and watch TV with them both are special. As long as you are teaching your grandchildren about love, life, and happiness by example, your way is the right way . . .  for you and for your grandchildren.

Roll Out Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Days of Juicy Juice, Goldfish and Mom’s yummy home-made monster cookies. Dust off the sun and the moon and sing a song of cheer. Fill your lunch boxs full of your favorite summer goodies. Lock up the house, load up the SUV and buckle up and lets Go, Go, Go on an adventure at the seashore.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of  summer when boys and girls are happy day dreaming about swimming at the seashore, listening to the ocean in seashells and drawing funny faces in the sand. They are hoping that they will win first place for building the tallest sand castle.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer as the clumsy toddlers with their legs sprawled out for balance and a shovel gripped awkwardly in a little fist as they are  intent on filling a bucket full of sand and sea shells and are fully unaware of their mothers loving gaze. Dust of the sun and the moon and sing a song of cheer and roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

 Love from Grandma

Teachable Moments

Ever since I read about “Teachable Moments” I’ve believed they’re the easiest and most enjoyable way to teach a child anything. And grandparents, have more teachable moments with their grandchildren, than even their parents do, because they have the time and the desire to pass on snippets of information.

Grandparents like to take advantage of every opportunity to explain something to your grandchildren it might be an idea, how something works, why something is important, how we do things, and answer to a question, pointing out something interesting a new word, a new sensation, a new feeling.

A teachable moment arises out of an ordinary everyday activity or situation where you feel that there’s an opportunity to explain something. Unsurprisingly children love those moments. The setting is informal, it doesn’t feel like teaching, and best of all its piecemeal, which is how children learn anyway. It’s appealing to a chid because a teachable moment has it own logic. Here are some teachable moments that I’ve experienced with my children when they were growing up or even more recently with my grandchildren.

  • You’re “Gardening” together and you see a worm. You can talk about how worms aerate the soil and turn it over (as worm casts), and how a worm  has no eyes because it’s always in the dark.
  • You’re crossing a street with traffic lights. Hers’s a good opportunity to talk about the light sequence and how RED means STOP and Green means Go. Extend this to talking about how you should look left, then right, then left again, then cross.
  • It’s bath time, and as your grandchild gets into the bath the water rises, then when she stands up, the level drops. You explain why and you could mention Archimedes and “Eureka”. You explain how some things float and some things sink.
  • You use a word that might be difficult for a toddler or young child to understand, for instance, words such as recognize, reflection (in the mirror), camouflage and immediately explain what it means and give examples of how to use it.
  • Use every opportunity to explain a concept this is hard, but this is soft; a cat meows but a dog barks; birds fly and so do airplanes.

You are an expert as a grandparent, because of your experiences, the life you’ve led, and your range of interests and hobbies, you can stimulate your grandchild in a way that a parent can’t. Your grandchildren will learn very easily from you, and I’m sure that. like me, you will get huge satisfaction from the hours you spend playing and learning together.

You have a caring interest in him or her, which they can sense because it makes them feel special, the perfect setting for new games and skills. You have the time to play until your grandchildren get bored. You take obvious delight in their tiniest achievement and make them feel confident. Nothing is too much trouble for you so games can extend his concentration and foster his curiosity.

You are endlessly patient and show him how to try, try, try again until he succeeds, and then praise them. You love him them enough to let them fail on their way to their success’. Remember to let your children and grandchildren fail instead of trying to rescue them from failure all the time.

Take a moment and think about a time that you failed and turned that failure into a success. Would you have conquered it if your parents, teachers, mentors, or grandparents had rescued you out of it? I remember when my son was learning to ride a bike I can’t tell you how many times he fell down and we just ignored him and he got right back up on that bike and finally mastered riding it. Later in life when he learned to drive a motorcycle there was no room for failing.  He had to do it right the first time and he did.

I remember when I started playing baseball at first I couldn’t hit the ball and my teams mates were not happy about that. But I can tell you no one told the couch to rescue me or even how to handle it. All my mom said, was you’ll figure it out just pay more attention to the way you are holding the bat. I kept trying and then one day I hit a home run. It’s good thing too because girls didn’t play baseball back then. Enjoy all those teachable moments and let the kids learn to turn their failures into success’.

Chose Your Own Grandparenting Style

 The Power of Myths reminds me of the classic children’s storyLittle Red Riding Hood” it has almost all the main features of one stereotyped image of a grandparent.

Once upon a time, at the edge of a large forest there stood a tiny cottage almost hidden by the trees. In it a little girl lived with her mother. The little girl could often be seen in her hood and red  cape flitting among the tall trees. Her grandmother had made the hood and cape for her and because the little girl always wore them, she was called Little Red Ridding Hood.

Red Riding Hood’s grandmother is old and feeble, caring and gift-giving, and lives within convenient walking distance (wolves not with standing) of her granddaughter. There are probably some grandparents who fit this image. There are probably even more who wish they matched some parts of it. But in today’s world, many grandparents are neither old nor feeble.

They don’t eat chocolate cake or drink creamy milk especially when they’re sick. Their lives are not focused on their grandchildren but on their jobs, friends and social activities. Oh! We can’t forget that some of us can end up spending all day trying to figure out how to use our latest techie devices.

 Often they don’t live on the other side of the woods but on the other side of the country, on another continent, or at least somewhere where the winters are milder and the weather is sunnier. However grandparents are enjoying their beach cottages and mountain cabins. Aren’t they?

 One morning Little Red Riding Hood’s mother packed a basket full of homemade  goodies that included a chocolate cake, a jar of strawberry jam and a bottle of creamy milk. She told Little Red Ridding Hood to take this basket to your grandmother because she was sick in bed and this food will do her good and it will make her happy. I would’ve preferred a cup of tea and a piece of toast myself. 

My friends and I didn’t realize how powerful myths could be until we became a grandparents. We have discovered that when it comes to the topic of family life how surprised we were to see how many people are still clinging to idealized images from the past.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with having romantic and nostalgic ideas but if we walk around feeling that our lives are only second best because things were once better it can sap all our strength. And if we invest our energy trying to live the way we imagine people used to live we’re bound to be disappointed.

Grandparents are living longer that in the first half of the century, the grandparenting phase might last two or three decades or more.

 In short, grandparenting has developed as an independent role in the family cycle and often extends as long or longer than parenting.

Here are a few questions grandparents can ask themselves when choosing their grandparenting style.

What kinds of things to you enjoy doing? What special skills do you have?  How much time do you have available and how much do I want to spend grandparenting? What are your children’s and grandchildren’s needs? What religious and ethnic traditions do you want to pass on to your grandchildren? 

Keep in mind there is still no set definitions of what makes you a good grandparent any more that whats makes a good grandchild. The consensus about what makes us good grandparents makes it easier for each of us to reinvent grandparenting in own style and enjoy our roles.

Use Your Imagination

Hold your breath and make a wish then Count to three! Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.

 Take a look and you’ll see into your imagination. We’ll begin with a spin traveling in the world of creation. What we’ll see will defy explanation.

If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it do you wanta change the world? There’s nothing to it there is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there you’ll be free if you truly wish to be. If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it. Wanta change the world? There’s nothing to it and there is no life I know to compare with pure imagination living there.

You’ll be free if you truly wish to be now hold your breath, make a wish, and count to three.” Doesn’t that describe how we feel in many situations in life? For some of us it can be when our son or daughters call us and ask, Mom are you sitting down? I have something to tell you and we wait with bated breath in a state of suspenseful anticipation, as they say “We are going to have a baby”.

Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination and take a look and see into your imagination.” As I read these words it reminds of the first two years of life and it’s a season when a child’s imagination is pure. When we find out that a family is expecting a baby right away imaginations are sparked and we think to ourselves what color are the baby’s eyes?  Will they be the color of his or her mother, father, aunt, uncle or maybe a grandparent or a great-grandmother that we loved so much.  

Then we wonder what gender is the baby a girl or a boy. Our imaginations travel through the past, present, and future in our imaginations with all kinds of questions about a baby while it’s being created. Don’t we?

We’ll begin with a spin traveling in the world of creation and what we’ll see will defy explanation.” Birth through the toddler years seem to defy explanation one, two, three and we are spinning, traveling together into the world of creation again.

If you want to view paradise simply look around and view it is there anything you want to do, do it. Wanta change the world? There’s nothing to it.” My mom use to say. “It’s not the destination but the journey that counts.” Aren’t we lucky that we have opportunities to spark children’s and grandchildren’s imaginations and that they spark our imaginations too?