I was saddened by stories (www.grandparents.com) of those who have been denied seeing their grandchildren by their own adult child and/or their adult child’s partner. I would suggest we step back and take a long look at the expectations we have of family (i.e., as a teacher of parents, one pet peeve I have had is when parents say to their young children, “You will get married,” “You will have children.” Do they say that because they are anxious that their children may not want to do this and need “programming?” Or because they want grandchildren to indulge?) Maybe the problems are long-standing. In whatever context, these type of expectations are presumptuous.
I would approach building my relationships with my grandchildren Continue reading
LM, San Francisco, writes: My husband loves having our grandchildren visit, but he doesn’t really get down to their level and do things with them. They are 6 and 9. He’s retired now, and I’d like to encourage him to be more active with them.
Have you spoken with him about the subject? Children used to be women’s domain, and men’s and women’s roles were assumed—but many men are now very active with their children. Your grandchildren are at wonderful ages—before the teen years bring new preoccupations. Assuming “granddad” is interested in being more actively involved with them, suggest some things Continue reading
Liz from NM asks: I will be retiring next month. My daughter and her family live about 15 minutes away, and I’m concerned that my time and energy will be gobbled up by family needs. I see my daughter exhausted from her job as chief cook and bottle washer, with three children–and my instinct is to help in any way I can. But I also look forward to doing things that I’ve never had time to do before.
Congratuations on your retirement! If you can look ahead, think about the days, times, and the amount of times you will typically want and need for yourself (I found that having a structure in my week was helpful–both to me and for setting limits on outside demands Continue reading
ü Young children are developing trust and forming their “point of view” at very early ages
ü Young children learn from how the adults interact with each other as well as how the adults interact with them
ü When you believe in a child, they can believe in themselves (If an adult says “bad boy,” or “bad girl,” the child thinks adults must be right)
ü Young children often want to do more than they can physically do Continue reading
Jean from NC writes: My husband and I watch my grandson after school until his parents pick him up after work. He brings homework that my son expects him to finish at our house, but he just wants to run around with the dog and a ball.
To begin, why homework at six? And how regimented is his school day? “Running around” may be the best thing for him, physically and emotionally. I like the Waldorf School approach (Wikipedia), where learning is through play until about 7, where “reading and writing” are introducted, Continue reading
Use technology to keep in touch:
- Join a social networking site (never done that? ask the young ones for help!). Requirements: a computer, internet connection (suggestion: broadband from cable company), a photo of yourself or your choosing in digital format on your computer (download from digital camera)
- Does your computer have a webcam? Continue reading
- Cook together, break eggs, get flour on your noses, then eat the finished product!
- Look at old photos together; reminisce: “when you were younger…”; “when I was younger….” Listen a lot!
- Venture out to places that interest the child, and where possible, you Continue reading
Every person has their own reactions and limits to a child’s behavior–that is to be expected! My suggestions:
- Have adults agree that one adult with handle a situation, while the others step back. This will allow the child to focus on their interaction with only one person. (Children study and are aware of our patterns of responding to them.)
- Grandparents support your children, Continue reading