Grandparenting – 5 Great Tips

grandparent facetime

not me  😉

Last time I called my grandkids on FaceTime my husband watched me study the screen trying to rearrange my wrinkles and tilt my head so my neck looked smoother.  “You know,” he laughed, “I think FaceTime was invented by plastic surgeons!”

Ok, ok, I know that FaceTime was created to provide that live contact that we all crave. It’s just that until they connect, I get distracted…

A Special Bond

But once they answer, I’m reminded that they don’t see wrinkles; they just see their loving Grammy, and I get to see a window into their lives in that moment:

My two year old granddaughter points to all the seven dwarfs and knows their names.

My five-year-old grandson grabs the phone and immediately turns it off.

My nine-year-old granddaughter talks to me upside down in a cartwheel.

My eleven-year-old grandson holds the phone up to his nose and asks if I can see any boogers.

My thirteen-year-old granddaughter says, “Hi, Grammy. I”ve gotta go to soccer.”

And I love every word they say and every action they offer, even the booger hunting.

Whether you are Grammy, Nana, PopPop, Bubbie, MeMaw, or BobaLou, you are an important part of your grandchild’s life.  And whether it is a picnic, a party, a simple Tuesday night dinner, or a long-distance FaceTime call, the excitement is there, the love is there and certainly the pride and joy are there. What is not always there is a clear set of family expectations. Each family is different and so are the expectations.

Parenting_Make-Happy-a-Habit

Tips for New Grandparents

Grandparenting is definitely not the same as parenting. To help you navigate this new terrain, I’ve created a small ‘Hand Book” that I call 10 Great Tips for Grandparenting. It includes – yes – 10 great tips that I hope you will combine with your own common sense to figure out how to thrive in this new environment called grandparenting.

Here’s a sample of  the first 5 tips:

1 – YOU ARE NOT THE PARENT

Sometimes you may forget and start to discipline or offer your opinion of how things should be handled.  Read #1 again.

2 – BE SURE TO PLAN TIME ALONE WITH EACH GRANDCHILD

You can take the child on some grand adventure or simply spend the afternoon at home researching volcanoes, playing a game, or making cookies. Be sure it’s just the two of you.

3 – START AND END EACH VISIT WITH A HUG

Yes. And if you say you are not a hugger, become one.

hugs-with-grandparent

4 – BE FLEXIBLE

If you don’t remember the chaos that often runs through the home when kids are around, let me remind you. Some of the best-made plans have to be altered. Don’t take it personally if you want to be popular. And of course you do.

5 – BE FRANK AND OPEN ABOUT YOUR AVAILABILTY

So you live in the same city as your grand kids? Lucky you! Sometimes you want to help out and sometimes you just don’t. Be frank and open about your availability with your children.  Ditto for you out-of-town grandparents. If any of you stay quiet and just fume, I don’t feel sorry for you!

Those are just the first five in my 10 Great Tips for Grandparenting Handbook.  If you would like to talk more or need some help navigating the grand parenting pathways, give me a call and let’s talk.

And by the way, when you call, I might just share my ‘famous’ cookie recipe!

Loretta

P.S. You can download the other five tips free on my website or order a hard copy as a gift for your favorite MeMaw and BabaLou.

Photo credits: Abigail Kennan© Can Stock Photo Inc. / dolgachov

Making Happy a Habit with your Kids

Make-Happy-a-Habit-for-KidsAre you getting your family involved in the MAKE HAPPY A HABIT campaign?  Start now and enjoy facing the challenge together, supporting each other, and sharing the good feelings that are guaranteed.

If you’ve been hesitating to start your 30 days, let me remind you that as a parent, you are a role model.  Whenever you are with your kids, they are watching and often copying everything you do.

So… set an example, and start practicing every day to Make Happy A Habit. You’ll really enjoy it when you find yourself surrounded by people who are more positive, more optimistic and a lot more resilient.


Here are the five simple tasks to do every day and how to include your kids in the process:

SAY (OUT LOUD) THREE THINGS FOR WHICH YOU ARE GRATEFUL

Do this in the morning when everyone wakes up, over breakfast, or when you take the kids to school.  It puts all involved in a good mindset to face the day.

WRITE DOWN ONE GOOD THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE LAST 24 HOURS

This is especially good to do before going to sleep. It helps to have them think positive thoughts as they say good night.

It is important to WRITE down the thoughts. Have the younger kids tell you about it so you can help them write simple words and even draw a picture. For the older ones, they can write just one sentence or and entire paragraph.

Make-Happy-a-Habit-CollageEXERCISE 20 MINUTES A DAY

You can best plan how this fits into your family’s day. Many kids will have a time on the playground or during PE at school. If at home, whoever is in charge should make exercise happen.  If it’s raining, dance or do cheers in the family room.

For you parents who are ‘too busy’ at work, you can divide it up into two 10-minute sessions. Walk up and down the stairs or jog around the parking lot at lunchtime. Be sure to tell the kids when you get home.

MEDITATE AT LEAST 5 MINUTES A DAY

Here is your ticket to relaxation and focus.  Turn off your electronics, and turn on some wordless music. Focus on your breathing or the music.  Or simply do a body scan.

For very young kids you can merely sit in silence. Many experts recommend one minute of silence per year of age (up to 8) for kids.  Just make time for quiet time.

(You’re welcome…)

PERFORM A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS

Simply be kind. Encourage the kids to help a neighbor, hold a door for someone, or even share their cookies. This kindness is especially satisfying because being considerate towards others inspires them to be kind to someone else.

See – not too hard!  Get your family involved, be a role model, and Make Happy a Habit!

Loretta

Photo credits: Celebelle© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Nelosa; 4774344sean; secheltgirlNCVO London