(NOTE: I was given a copy of this book but all opinions are my own,)
The purpose of my blog is to provide things that grandparents can do with their grandchildren. By doing these things — whether making a recipe, doing a craft, reading a book together, or playing a game — the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is strengthened.
One of the first things that Susan Day says in her book is that she wants grandparents to have an overwhelmingly positive impact on their grandkids lives. I like that. Overwhelmingly — what a great adverb to use.
She wants us to create memories that will endure long after we are gone. I totally support that!
She also claims that being a mentor and guide to the upcoming generation is one of the most important things that grandparents can do,
Grandparents play an important roll in families. If grandparents are retired, they have more time to spend with grandchildren. They provide extra arms for hugging, ears for listening, an extra lap for sitting on and and snuggling in, and a heart that gives tons of extra love.
Huzzah for having grandchildren to love!
As I read Day’s book, I found these special nuggets of thought for grandparents.
- Have a notebook nearby as you read her book so you can write down thoughts that come to you of activities and things you can do with your grandchildren.
- Use your time wisely with your grandchildren. Be engaged with your grandchildren at every opportunity.
- Decide what areas you could be a good mentor to your grandchildren. Individualize your mentoring for each grandchild.
- If you have a special interest or talent, teach it to your grandchildren.
- Think about things that you already do for and with your grandkids. Is there something more that you could do?
- If you have step-grandchildren, think about things that you could do to make them feel welcome and a part of your family.
- Think of 3 things that you would like to be remembered for. Decide how can you share them with your grandchildren.
- Make a list of your personal behaviors that you could change that would make you a better grandparent. Then, work on improving them.
Are you wondering what the top 10 things are that happy grandparents never regret doing? Let me tell you what they are.
- Planning. Plan what you want to do with or for your grandchildtn. Then, make sure that you write down specifics such as the date that you want to do the activity and the things you need to make that activity happen. (Things written down will more likely happen than those that are just thought about.)
- Taking action. Do what you plan.
- Listening. Be in the moment as your grandchildren talk to you. Don’t be thinking about something else.
- Being supportive. If possible, attend the piano recitals, ball games, and dance competitions. Learn what your grandchildren want to accomplish in life and see what you can do to help them along their way.
- Saying no. Sometimes you won’t be able to babysit, pick up the dry cleaning, or mow their lawn every time you are asked. That is okay. Set boundaries so that you aren’t taken advantage of or so that you won’t jeopardize your health. Remember, you have your own life to live.
- Being flexible. If something comes up and you can’t do an activity with your grandkids, be willing to change dates or times or not do it at all at that moment in time. Don’t be rigid!
- Being attentive. Listen actively. Listen without criticism.
- Acting with trust and integrity. If you say you will do something, do it! Don’t make promises that you can’t keep.
- Sharing. Share your skills, your experiences, your knowledge, your history.
- Recognizing that every situation should be win/win. As much as possible, make every situation a win/win between you and your grandchildren. Remember, your relationship with a grandchild is far more important than ‘winning’ in a situation,
Now, with all that being said, I feel that the title of the book is misleading. Yes, Day lists the 10 things that she says happy grandparents never regret doing. Those 10 things are listed at the end of the book. They should be at the very beginning!
From the book’s title, I expected that’s what all of the book would be about. However, only 31 pages out of 217 talk about those 10 things. That’s less than 10 percent of the whole book!
She takes 40 pages talking about teaching children to read. While that is nice to know, just how many grandparents actually teach their grandchildren to read? That information is geared more toward teachers. It shouldn’t be in the book.
I believe the book’s title is misleading. Very little of the content talks about things grandparents don’t regret doing. I think that the title should have been something like Improving Your Grandparenting or Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Grandchildren. That would be more appropriate.