What’s Going On At Your Grandchild’s School?
BY JERRY WITKOVSKY
As many a grandparent knows, their adult children–the parents of their grandchildren–are the gatekeepers to the grandest love, the grandchildren. I have been thinking about this a lot as I have been meeting with school counselors and administrators to expand the Grandparent Connection School Program.
Here are some thoughts you may want to share with your adult children if you’d like to get involved at your grandchild’s school.
- When a grandparent dies, the doors to the library are closed forever. I know, this is direct but I wanted to capture your attention. I want to let you know why it’s so important for me to connect to your children, my grandchildren, now.
- Grandparents have a transformative effect on the family when they unleash their creativity and teach their skills and passions to their grandchildren. When grandparents and grandchildren grow closer, everyone connects more deeply across all of the generations. The grandparent-grandchild connection is a chance to tell stories of shared experiences…first dates, challenges of growing up, or experiences of homework and making friends at school…common things that every generation experiences.
- I want to enter my grandchild’s school world. Please send me the school’s website address; give the school my email address and ask them to add it to their weekly announcements. Please send me invitations to upcoming games, plays, performances, and events at the school and share reading lists, syllabi and other materials so that I can understand what life is like for the child that we both love so much.
- You are a wonderful parent. I am not asking to be more involved in questioning or undermining you. But I want to understand what my grandchildren are learning and where they are, what their needs are, at each stage of development.
- I think my connection to my grandchildren and their school will help you too. In our “I can do it myself” society, asking for help can be hard. But, there is enough work to go around and I’d be happy to help at school if they have a family volunteer or donation requirement.
- Grandparents may attend events and programs with older children while parents care for younger children. As the old proverb says, “many hands make light work.”
- Intergenerational relationships provide an opportunity for both young and old to learn new skills, and to gain a sense of purpose. For grandparents, these connections can invigorate and energize older adults and reduce isolation. For grandchildren, it can help keep family stories history alive and can fill a void for children who do not have grandparents available to them.
- Relationships with older adults build positive perceptions and reduce stereotypes associated with aging.
I want to understand what my grandchildren are learning and what their needs are at each stage of development.
Our Family’s Library of Stories
Long ago, I stopped asking the grandkids, “How was school?” because I would only get a yuck or a grunt. I replaced it with “Tell me a story about school.” Now when I see my grandchildren, they are so accustomed to this I don’t even have to ask before the stories start rolling. And now they ask me to tell stories too.
Knowing what is happening in your grandchild’s world at school, even visiting the school and walking in their footsteps, offers a wonderful platform to inspire stories. And, stories are a way to share love and connect around common experiences, even experiences that happened decades apart.
To read more from Jerry Witkovsky, click here
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – JERRY WITKOVSKY
Author of The Grandest Love and a long-time social work professional, grandparenting activist, and passionate grandpa, author Jerry Witkovsky offers fresh approaches to help grandparents enter their grandchild’s world, to leave values, not just valuables and create a living legacy. www.thegrandestlove.com
What ideas have you implemented in your family? How do you unleash your creativity and unique gifts to transform your family? Please share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.