By: Jerry Witkovsky
"Computers, history, how to hang free" are among things grandparents say they've learned from their grandchildren.
And grandchildren, now young adults, cited "perseverance, to be giving, to go after my dreams" as valuable lessons learned from Grandma and Grandpa.
A teaching and learning culture is one in which knowledge and experience are shared in all directions, from young to old or old to young; where individuals take their passions and teach those around them, all involved not only learning new skills or gaining new knowledge, but getting insight and more closely connecting with loved ones.
The Teaching and Learning chapter is excerpted from Grand Connection: Three Generations on GrandParenting, where Catalyst's national research team interviewed a broad cross section of GrandParents, Adult Children and Grandchildren. The goal was to create opportunities for communications, learning and understanding between the three generations. Teaching and Learning was one of eight major themes that emerged, issues common to all three generations.
See the full series on The Grandest Love on YouTube.
For more Grandparenting articles, click here.
JERRY WITKOVSKY - GENERATIONS
Jerry Witkovsky is the author of The Grandest Love: Inspiring the Grandparent-Grandchild Connection, a self-help, how-to guide to enable families to connect more deeply across the generations. A long-time social work professional, grandparenting activist, and passionate Grandpa, Witkovsky guides you toward the Grandest Love of all, with fresh approaches to helping grandparents enter their grandchild’s world to leave values, not just valuables and create a living legacy. Learn more at http://www.TheGrandestLove.com.
Teaching our grandchildren to get out of their comfort zone, into their courage zone, and ‘just do it’ leads to a successful life.
I have found the best way to ‘sink’ any important knowledge, into my Grandss heads is through my art of storytelling.
My philosophy is not scientific. Everyone, at every age, loves a story.
When I sense a problem, I jump in, as their wise grandmother, and ask them to sit down with me... that is if I am lucky enough to be with them. If they are miles away, we talk over the phone or Skype.
I listen to them. I validate their situation. And then I say, “I want to tell you a true story that relates to your situation." It gets their attention, every time, darlings.
I have found with my twenty-four Grands that self- doubts occur as they wonder what paths they should take.
We can recklessly say what we choose, or we can carefully choose what we say.
Remember, we are wise because of our life experiences. Our grandchildren are much younger than us. So we must think before we speak.
Here are a few things you may be tempted to say to your grandchildren, but they will not do anyone any good:
1. “Don’t tell your mom or dad.”
This is teaching your grandchildren it is OK to be dishonest.
By Susan "Honey" Good
"Each time a grandchild is born your heart beats a little faster." Barbara Handy, Honey Good Facebook Friend
About a month or more ago, I posed the following question on my Honey Good Facebook page, "Describe - in one word - how you felt the first time you held your grandchild?"
Dear readers, you did not disappoint with the breadth of your answers nor with their poignancy.
Every child wants to have friends and be part of ‘a group.’
With our guiding principles we should play a role in educating our Grands on the principles of friendship, so they can choose the right friends and groups and avoid the fickle, fake, back stabbers and poor role models.
Teaching Grandchildren, through story telling, is my manner of imparting a message. I choose to tell my Olive tree story by using the tree as a symbol and guide of what characteristics to look for a group.
The Olive Tree Story
To celebrate my amazing children & Grands on National Kids Day I have found a delicious, quick & easy, kid-friendly recipe to try this summer! Guaranteed to impress any hungry Grands!
- Pizza base (one third of our homemade pizza base will make 24 mini pizza bites)
- Passata or tomato puree
- Cheese (we used grated mozzarella)
- Topping of your choice (mushrooms and pepperoni)
Once a month I am very fortunate to be one of several women bloggers who participate in a conference call. We discuss a multitude of topics. I look forward to the exchange.
On last week’s call, I was struck by a topic brought up by one of our members, Donne, who is the owner of GaGaSisterhood.com.
A title of a story she posted, written by another writer, was: Are you denied access to your grandchildren? I was truly shocked at the enormous response Donne received from grandmother’s suffering and grieving because they are not allowed access to their Grands. I asked Donne if I could share the story with you.
My purpose is to let you know you are not alone.
Please share with me and our community of grandmothers.
Last Sunday our Grand, Joe Good, called to check in. His grandfather spoke to him for about 10 minutes. I am not his natural grandmother and I spoke to him for 30.
A few years ago I initiated a plan that I hoped would establish a closer bond with this Grand of mine because…
Joe’s and my life is separated by several thousands of miles, sometimes continents and as mentioned, I am not his natural grandmother.
I am telling you my story so you ‘don’t give up the ship’ if you are in my situation. Remember, ‘where there is a will, there is always a way.’ But, your will must come from the heart.
Here is my story.
My Grands, like many of yours, have moved away with their parents. It is the modern-world syndrome and not only do grandmother’s suffer but so do our adult children and of course, our Grands. We are the scattered generation.
My grown children occasionally chastise me with comments, I feel often unfairly, yet I admit I ask myself, “Could I do more?
I know many absentee grandmothers feel as I do. We are saddened that society has changed from the golden days when we all lived near family. We wish we could hop in our cars; pick up our Grands from school, help them with their homework or take them for a dairy queen. We want to hug them; we want to look at them; we want to be hugged back. But we cannot! It is the scattered generation.
6 years ago, when my identical triplet granddaughters were 4 years old, they began asking me questions about death. They seemed fascinated by a dead bird in the street. Their pet goldfish passed away and they had a ceremony to bury him “at sea”. They talked about great grandparents that they had only heard of and wondered how they had died. None of these experiences or questions came with any sadness. They were merely “curious” about this life event. I was able to answer them with facts rather than emotions.