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Three Books to Help Understand Your Growing Grands

Three Books to Help Understand Your Growing Grands: Jeanette Perkins aka Beeba

We all want our grandchildren to grow up to be happy and productive members of society. I watch my two growing grands and wonder how I can help them be their very best. These three books all talk about how children grow (in the US and around the world) and how we as grandparents, can engage with them to help insure their success.  

How Children Thirve coverHow Children Thrive: The Practical Science of Raising Independent, Resilient, and Happy Kids

By : Mark Bertin, MD

Ready to embrace your unpredictable, entertaining, and perfectly imperfect family—and watch your grandchildren thrive? Dr Bertin introduces the concept of executive function (EF) and provides simple strategies for helping your grands develop healthy EF while taking care of yourself and enjoying your family. There are numerous lists in each chapter covering guidelines, tools and tips to help implement these strategies. Discover the proven ways you can help children learn, overcome adversity, get along with others, and become independent—while you relax and enjoy being a grandparent.

How do children thrive? You want your grand to have happy, healthy, and meaningful lives—but what’s the best way to support them? Bringing together mindfulness, new science on brain development, and the messy reality of a growing child, Dr. Bertin has created a guide that will help children—and their families—flourish.

Research has shown that the key to raising resilient, kind, and independent children lies in executive function (EF), our mental capacity to manage just about everything in life. “Despite its wonky, overly scientific name, there is nothing complicated about building executive function,” Dr. Bertin writes. “It’s actually a lot more straightforward and less anxiety-provoking than most of the parenting advice out there.” Through concise, easily applied chapters, Dr. Bertin’s highlights include:

  • Mindfulness—how it directly builds EF and how to incorporate mindful practices for the whole family
  • The importance of free play, the science behind it, and how to encourage more of it
  • Technology—how much is too much? At what age is screen time OK? Help your kids have a healthy relationship with media.
  • Create simple routines that support independence around homework, nutrition, sleep, and friendships
  • Age-appropriate advice for toddlers, teens, and even your twenty-somethings
  • Limits and discipline: How to determine—and stick with—consequences for unwanted behavior
  • Understand markers for whether your child is developmentally on track or if extra support might be needed
  • Bring more calm, ease, and joy to your parenting while taking care of yourself—even when family life gets chaotic

Mark BertinAbout the author : Mark Bertin, MD, is a developmental pediatrician and author. His previous books, Mindful Parenting for ADHD and The Family ADHD Solution, integrate mindfulness with other evidence-based ADHD care. He is also a contributing author for the book Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens. Dr. Bertin is a faculty member at New York Medical College and the Windward Teacher Training Institute, and is on the advisory boards for the nonprofit organizations Common Sense Media and Reach Out and Read.



Great Kids: Helping Your Baby and Child Develop the Ten Essential Qualities for a Healthy, Happy Life

By Stanley I. Greenspan

This book outlines the ten qualities that Dr. Greenspan feels every child needs for a happy and healthy life. These qualities are not innate but are learned. Parents and Grandparents can use simple, lively methods to interact with the child and nurture these qualities.

Each chapter is devoted to one of the qualities and ends with a list of tips for parents to use from infancy through the teen years. Since many of the qualities are interrelated, I found some of the tips to be redundant as I made my way through the book.

A conversational style eases parents into the methods for cultivating 10 essential qualities that will “make possible the pursuit of success, wisdom, and rich relationships at every stage of life”: These qualities are engagement, empathy, curiosity, communication, emotional range, self-awareness, internal discipline, creativity and vision, logical thinking and moral integrity. Following a complete and detailed discussion of the quality in question, including helpful examples, chapters end with a concise set of action points for children at various stages of development.

This book DOES NOT promote academic knowledge (alphabet, counting…) it discusses the need for children to acquire life qualities – surely necessary for the world today!

The way you raise your child from infancy through adolescence determines his or her success in interacting with people and dealing with life situations. Every parent and grandparent wants confident, sensitive, patient and morally sound children. But human beings are not born with these qualities; parents and caregivers are responsible for teaching children about them.

Stanley GreenspanAbout the author: Stanley I. Greenspan was a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School and the author or editor of more than 40 books. Greenspan lived in Bethesda, MD, with his wife and co-author Nancy Thorndike Greenspan. He died on April 27, 2010.




Raising Children cover

Raising Children : Surprising Insights from Other Cultures

By David F. Lancy

The title of this book would lead you to believe it is a “how to” for raising children when in fact it is an exploration and comparison of how biology and culture in other countries affects a child’s development. Through essays, the author shares his experience obtained through participant observation. Some of the topics covered are infant attachment, swaddling, playing and learning, and going to school. In each chapter, lessons that can be applied in the United States are pointed out.

Why in some parts of the world do parents rarely play with their babies and never with toddlers? Why in some cultures are children not fully recognized as individuals until they are older? How are routine habits of etiquette and hygiene taught – or not – to children in other societies?

Drawing on a lifetime’s experience as an anthropologist, David F. Lancy takes us on a journey across the globe to show how children are raised differently in different cultures. Intriguing, and sometimes shocking, his discoveries demonstrate that our ideas about children are recent, untested, and often contrast starkly with those in other parts of the world. Lancy argues that we are, by historical standards, guilty of over-parenting, and of micro-managing our children’s lives. Challenging many of our accepted truths, his book will encourage parents to think differently about children, and by doing so to feel more relaxed about their own parenting skills.

David F. LancyAbout the author: David F. Lancy is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Utah State University. He is author/editor of several books on childhood and culture.





Jeanette Perkins is the grandmother of two adorable grandsons. She lives in beautiful St Pete Beach, FL. Jeanette is a new product reviewer for GRAND and is looking forward to reviewing lots of new and useful products for all us grandparents.

If you have a product for boomer grandparents and or their grandkids, tell us all about it in an email to editor@grandmagazine.com.

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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