Derek and Shelby Hall on grandparenting and staying healthy
After highly successful careers in the pharmaceutical and the natural products industries and now CEO of Qivana, America’s fastest-growing natural products company, Derek Hall and his wife, Shelby, sat down with Jonathan Micocci of GRAND Media and shared some of their secrets to successful grandparenting.
How can today’s busy grandparents keep up with it all?
Just one look at Derek and Shelby and you see two people who literally shine with health, happiness and vitality. When you hear them, they bubble over with their zest for life, love and family values.
To help them keep up with the activities of 20 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren ranging in age from 3 to 19, Derek and Shelby rely on a couple of special daughters-in-law: one gives them a laminated calendar each Christmas with all the grandkids’ birthdays, and another sends regular updates to Shelby’s phone calendar listing the kids’ sports events so they can attend as many as possible.
Make time for adult time together
“We have several ways of doing this, but one way is that each year we all take an ‘adult vacation’ together without the grandkids. The five couples spend seven days together playing and planning together, plus we hold our family board meeting. This time together keeps our relationships fresh….”
Shelby reminds us, “No matter what age, your children will always remain your children, but after a while you realize they are your peerage and they are a lot smarter than you think. Derek brags, “Believe it or not, our children are actually smarter than we are and we get lots of good advice from them.”
Put together a family mission statement
Around 10-12 years ago the Halls put together a family mission statement [included in the audio, below]. They update it from time to time; they frame and post it in a visible place in each home. According to Derek and Shelby, “Our family mission statement allows us to lay out the tenets of our family.” One of the important elements of the mission statement is that they all agreed they would assist in raising each other’s children.
Concentrate on having fun!
One of the things that surprised Shelby about being a grandparent is how much fun it is. Shelby says, “It’s so fun – truthfully! Whenever you see a grandchild, no matter how often, they have a certain light in their eyes and facial expressions. When they see us, they glow and come alive. Our relationship with our grandkids helps Derek and me stay young. We were young parents, and now we’re young grandparents. We do a lot of activities with our grandchildren. They are just so fun! We just love them – that’s all we do.”
Special grand names
Derek and Shelby report to have a myriad of names that their grandkids call them. Starting out with Grandma and Grandpa, G-ma and G-pa, Mamie and Papi. Three of their granddaughters call them “Hot Number” and “Cool Kitty.”
Secrets to personal fitness
Derek and Shelby are both very fit and healthy. According to Shelby, “One of our secrets to good health is we stay active together. We engage in lots of outdoor activities. We do everything together like walking, gardening and boating. We’ve made our life a ‘together life’…we are a team. Over the last 10 years we’ve really learned to watch our diet and we supplement our meals.”
In the U.S, says Derek, “we’re living longer, but our elder population is spending more time in managed care. We overuse prescription drugs and take our health for granted. We have more stress and pressure, both of which take a toll on us.” Derek believes we drive ourselves very hard and recommends that we depressurize and do nothing for a while.
Recipe for success
“Respect the people you have around you,” explains Derek. “Show them lots of respect, and when you’re done with that, show them more respect. Continually recognize them and stroke them.”
Health and wealth
Shelby and Derek birthed their current business, Qivana, a couple of years ago. According to Derek, “I’d been retired for a couple of years, but startups are very satisfying to me. This business brings joy and happiness to a lot of folks. We felt it was time to give back.”
They brought together top doctors and scientists and developed science-backed products to help people live longer and healthier. “This is a health- and wealth building business. We are breaking lots of records, and it’s wonderful to know when you go to bed at night that you are truly helping people. This is too much fun to give up!” said Derek. “We got our grandkids involved in our new business. They use the products. We model our work ethic and set goals together. What’s a better legacy than to leave good health and wellness to your grandkids along with being a good citizen?”
As for advice they’d give new grandparents, Shelby says, “First, love your children…love your grandchildren, and then love them again. Be a safe place for them. Don’t try to raise your grandchildren; let your children raise their own children. Let them breathe…don’t suffocate them. We don’t want you to think we are perfect grandparents. I’m known for my Grandma’s Boot Camp – where we have rules and regulations. But the number-one focus is to just love them. Teach them that there is joy in everything!”