TR writes: My grandson (age 7) and granddaughter (age 5) stay with us after school 3 days a week until their dad picks them up after supper. I insist that they eat some of their vegetables, and sometimes my grandson refuses, the children get into verbal fighs with each other, I raise my voice, and my grandson stalking off. While I don’t go with the idea of “experts” who know better than we do, I feel bad about the situation getting out of control and don’t want my grandchildren to not want to be with us.
A couple of issues here:
1. How to handle a situation when a grandchild refuses to do what you have asked;
2. How relevant are “experts” to our lives?
“Experts” do have suggestions for making situations better, and there is lots of “expert advice” now available through the internet and through books and magazine articles. But, as grandparents, we also have lots of experience Continue reading →
Holidays: Want to, need to, do them differently this year?
Are your grandchildren out of school and visiting during the holidays? Do they say there’s nothing to do?
1. A most practical newsletter article (Dec 2012) comes from 123Magic Parenting website. The author suggests building some structure into each day. (I recall those crazy days when school recesses for a couple of weeks, Continue reading →
MS, IA, writes: “I worry about the “junk food” my grandchildren, ages 9 and 11, consume on a regular basis. I’m not sure how to approach the issue with my son and daughter-in-law. I know they don’t always have time to cook the most nutritious meals after they get home from work. And I try to provide good meals when the grandchildren are at our home, but they don’t always like what we serve.”
I would first concentrate on what I can do when the children are at my home. I’d ask their parents what foods the children like, from fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy, and meats. I would simply say that we are planning to improve our diets Continue reading →
DW, wrote: My step-daughter who is 37 and her son who is 4 1/2 yrs old live with my husband and i. He has received a few ”notes to home” from the pre-school to address the issues about throwing a toy at school or taking a toy from one of the other kids and when the teacher asks him about it, he obviously tells her “it’s not me.” My daughter called him a liar. LIAR is such a harsh word to be called as a adult much less a 4 yr old child. I have asked her to stop calling him that, not dismissing the issue about telling the truth to mommy or grandma or teachers, but explaining in a less nasty way why he should tell the truth, and she is upset about itI think she is mad about my input as to her parenting techniques with this issue, rather then anything else but i am beginning to question myself on anything i say. Just trying to find some common ground with others who may be in the same situations. Any help would be appreciated. Worried Grandma
My response: Dear Worried Grandma, My heart goes out to you and your daughter in this situation. In the first place, the preschool staff have a responsibility to help children with any behavior problems that come up, Continue reading →
LG, Oregon, writes: I was hoping when my grandson went to preschool, he would be interested in art activities, but he wants to spend most of his time playing outside.
Sometimes the very thing we want our children to be interested in is just the thing they avoid! That may come from the child’s responding negatively to a pressure they feel from the adult. This is especially true in creative areas, as creativity needs space, room, opportunity–with time to explore in a non-judgmental atmosphere. “Process” Continue reading →
ML from Oregon writes: “It is only February. I’m not sure my grandchild is ready for kindergarten in the Fall. He’d rather be playing outside than doing anything like his letters or numbers.”
Maybe it is too soon to worry. I find spring and summer to be a time for physical growth, and one can assume that mental growth is taking place, too. And playing, especially with other children, lays a good foundation for “kindergarten readiness,” see below.
How do his parents feel about his readiness? How comfortable is he with his parent/caregiver leaving him? Has he been to a playgroup or pre-kindergarten? Is he going to be one of the youngest in the class? How many students Continue reading →
KN, CA, writes that when her grandchildren stay over, they don’t seem to eat well at dinnertime.
This is a common complaint with young children, whose appetites vary day-by-day and time of day. They may fuss over your favorite meals, or ”aren’t hungry” by the time dinner is served. If you can’t adjust the meals or the times of the meals to work for the children, preparing healthy snacks for them will give them the day’s nutrients they need.
Low-fat, low-sugar, and added veges, fruits, and protein foods can be accomplished with a little planning ahead. For meals, a rule of thumb is to have a protein, and fruit or vege, and a carbo (bread, cracker, grain, noodle, etc.). Continue reading →
“To spank or not to spank” can elicit heated discussion, but is that the wrong question? It depends on what you want to achieve. Maybe the question is: How can we be in charge and discipline so that children learn and eventually do what is expected of them—and grow up to be happy, healthy, responsible, productive members of society?
Guidelines from the Positive Discipline Parenting and Classroom Management Model (www.positivediscipline.com) articulate some specific objectives of discipline they find consistent with helping children to grow to become responsible adults: 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.)