It seems that today’s children have no inhibitions about expressing what they don’t like and what they do want–a very different experience of self expression than that of prior generations. I have been somewhat puzzled and amazed by the way my generation–at least most everyone I’ve known–would not have dreamed of discussing our feelings with the adults around us, especially those feelings toward family members–and even our worries or goals for the future. I marvel at how strong the prohibition against this aspect of life was in the 40s, 50s.
However, still now, young people aren’t always able/don’t always feel comfortable discussing their feelings, their worries, their goals, with the adults in their lives. And the adults don’t always stop to listen. That’s where grandma and grandpa can be helpful! Supporting my adult children in their childrearing has been very important to me, and I know that some parents can feel betrayed if their child confides in others and not in them.But, as grandparents, we can be good listeners and supporters to young people. Confidentiality is important (unless something brought up could be considered dangerous–in that case, there needs to be some followup), and what we do and say can be most encouraging to them. Don’t sell yourself short–you have much to contribute!
Grandparents: Stuck in a rut? Facing a financial crisis? Not sure how to find new value, meaningful activity, in life?
I was inspired by an interview with Jane Pauley this morning (Morning Joe, MSNBC), on the occasion of her new book* on reinventing oneself through the years. Her 2013 resolution was to “say “yes” more often (and “no” less often); her 2014 resolution was to “say “yes” to new things.” Continue reading →
Happy New Year, Grandparents! Have you made some New Year’s resolutions? Or have you given up attempting to succeed–from past experience with resolution-making? Don’t give up! It’s a New Year, with new possibilities! Continue reading →
When you can’t purchase lots of gifts or spend a lot of time volunteering, you can find other ways, maybe smaller-in-size, but just as (or more than), meaningful to your family, friends, and even strangers! We need to remind ourselves that our caring for others does not need to be measured in dollars and cents! I’m working this list! (from Cate Cooper, courtesy of my wise and generous daughter, Amy, who re-posted this on Facebook)
Children who are “allowed” to sass, hit, disrespect the adult, do not feel good about it and end up not feeling good about themselves.
LB, TX, writes: My husband and I do not agree about how to discipline our grandson, age 8, when he spends the weekends, while our daughter, a single parent, is working. My husband thinks our grandson should be punished and Continue reading →
“Almost 6 million young people are neither in school nor working,” according to The Opportunity Nation coalition report (10/21/13). This is not a surprise to the many grandparents and parents concerned about their young people’s futures these days! For a grandparent or parent with a young adult at home and not at school or work, this is a scary thing Continue reading →
My granddaughter, age 13, announced that she has low self esteem, and my daughter asked me to provide activities that will help address this issue when she stays with us. It makes sense, in that she’s not doing as well as she probably could be doing in school, but I know she doesn’t lack in ability Continue reading →
KL: My grandson and his new wife are struggling. They both have college degrees but haven’t found work. I’m no expert on that, but I’d like to be able to suggest some ideas that might help them with some of the other issues that life presents. For example, they don’t cook for themselves and choose Continue reading →
KV, OR, writes: “I’m worried that my grandson will say bad words at school. I will be the one picking him up after school each day, and we’ve had some problems at home with his language.”
You are not the only one facing this issue. Dear reader: Is your soon-to-be kindergarten grandchild practicing his or her new vocabulary words? Has he (or she) discovered the power of words? That’s a good thing—right? Continue reading →
There are many things to worry about when it comes to our children and our grandchildren! Most recently, there have been vigorous campaigns against distractions while driving, and specifically targeting texting while driving. I sincerely hope these alarms are headed to. I don’t know how universal this is, but as a driver in New York City, I am also alarmed at the number of children and adults who step out into the Continue reading →
SP, OH, writes: My son and his wife have announced that they have decided to have only one child. I think being an only child is not the best experience for him or her in learning how to give and take and work out relationships in adulthood. I don’t want to create bad feelings but wonder if I should say something about my misgivings.
Deciding to have children is a momentous and personal decision for a couple, one that even they don’t grasp the extent of how their lives will change. But I would not say anything that could be seen as pressuring or critical. They are probably aware of the pros and cons of their decision (and sometimes “the best laid plans…”). Continue reading →
“Frustrated” writes: My husband and I watch our grandchildren a couple Saturdays each month. We disagree on how to handle the situation when my grandson, age 5, hits out at his sister, age 3. It is usually because she has picked up a toy, often one he’s not even playing with. I think it is not unusual behavior and needs to be handled gently, and my husband thinks the 5 year-old should be punished in some way.
Dear Frustrated: Jealousy at that age is “normal.” I say to worried mothers, “How would you feel if your husband brought home another wife a couple years after you two were married?” While each child holds a special place Continue reading →
It is the time of year, for me, of reflection and giving thanks. I have the privilege of having a dear father, age 102, who is also grandfather of my children, and great-grandfather of my grandchildren! This is the letter I sent to my “pop” this week:
Dear Pop, I have decided to let the people in my life know how much I cherish them. You get to be first! I recently pinpointed on a map all the places I’ve lived, and you were a supportive caring constant in my life all the while I was growing up.
– I cherish the memories of our visits to the farm, with cousins and animals and visits to the school your dad helped build Continue reading →