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Grandparent Gatherings


Grandparent Gatherings

BY RICHARD AND LINDA EYRE 

Professional associations. Parents Groups. Book Clubs. Bridge Clubs. Cooking groups.  Walking groups. Extension courses. Fitness classes. Professional development courses. Sports teams and leagues, Group therapy.

We all do better when we gather with others who have the same interests and are working on the same goals, problems, challenges, and interests that we do.  We learn from each other.  We motivate and stimulate each other.  We feel less alone in our worries and challenges and more motivated and encouraged by what others are doing. 

So why don’t we have more grandparenting groups? More gatherings and more good ideas and more discussions of how to do this important thing better?

None of us want to re-discover the wheel.  If there are good grandparenting and three-generation family management ideas and solutions and patterns and plans out there, we want access to them.  We want to hear how others are doing it. We want to become the best grandparents we can be by learning from other grandparents who may have more experience background and resources than we do, or who just have a good idea or two that we have never thought of.

Don’t try to figure out grandparenting on your own!  Learn from others.

Decades ago, when our books Teaching Children Joy and Teaching Children Values were national best-sellers, we developed a preschool curriculum called Joy Schools where moms would form neighborhood groups and rotate teaching their collective kids.  We found that while the mom-teachers loved the social/emotional lesson plans, but interestingly, they also LOVED the moms’ groups—just getting together and talking about their kids, their challenges, their family hopes and dreams.  They said that when they got together, they felt more connected, more motivated as parents, and less alone.

And guess what!  The same applies to us as grandparents.  When we gather with other grandparents and talk about our grandkids, about what and how we want to teach them, about being proactive and involved without stepping on the toes of the parents, about our worries and concerns, and just about any good grandparenting ideas we have become aware of…we get more excited and more knowledgeable about the whole thing!

The bottom line is that when we gather with other grandparents, we get better at grandparenting.

Portrait of smiling senior female friends drinking coffee at patio

Here are four good opportunities for learning and gathering as grandparents:

One:  Start a Grandparents’ Joy School.  Joy School is still going strong. With complete and easy-to-use lesson plans, stories, and games that teach preschoolers the physical, mental, emotional, and emotional JOYS of life, it works beautifully with grandparents as the teachers.  Form a little group with two or three other grandparents of preschoolers, and go to https://valuesparenting.com/joy-school/ to get the tried-and-proven curriculum.

Two: Join us for a 5-session Masterclass on Becoming a GRAND Grandparent.  This interactive Zoom course will be online every Wednesday Evening in May and will be recorded for class members who can’t make it live to every session.  In it, we will discuss the best grandparenting ideas, methods, and approaches from around the world…how to work in teamwork with your kids-the-parents…how to listen and communicate better with grandkids…how to pull everyone together and have the kind of reunions and gatherings that bond cousins and create synergistic relationships…how to support grandkids financially in ways that motivate rather than entitle…how to leave a values and faith legacy that grandkids resonate with and respond to. Simply go here and sign up. As a reader of GRAND magazine, you can get a 40% discount. Just enter GP101 in the Coupon Code section on the checkout page and hit apply when you register.

Three: Join us for a Grandparenting River Cruise where we will cover the same Masterclass topics but in the intimate and interactive confines of a cruise down the Rhine where we will get a chance to know each other personally even as we hone our grandparenting skills.  Let us know if you are interested in this course, either this Fall or next Spring, by simply sending an “I’m interested” email to our pseudonym account DrBridell@gmail.com and we will send you details as they become available.

Four:  Simply think of two or three other grandparents who live near you and have grandkids roughly the same age as yours, and go to lunch or dinner together once a month and talk about your grandkids—about how they are doing, about what you worry about, about things you are trying to teach them and fun experiences you are having with them. Brainstorm and learn from each other.

Don’t try to figure out grandparenting on your own!  Learn from others.  Take courses. Get serious and get motivated.  Be the best grandparent you can be.  Nothing is more important!

 

 

Richard & Linda Eyre

About the author

GRAND is pleased to welcome New York Times #1 Bestselling Authors Richard and Linda Eyre as regular columnists. The Eyres’ parenting and life-balance books have reached millions and been translated into a dozen languages. As fellow baby boomers, their passion and their writing focus have now shifted to the joy of grandparenting. Linda’s latest book is Grandmothering, and Richard’s is Being a Proactive Grandfather, and their latest initiative is a Grandparenting101 Zoom course.

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