Nov 27, 2018
How do grandparents figure out
grandparenting? They do what they did to figure out
parenting: stumbling forward doing the best they can to love all
the adults and kids in their lives. We have received
to do a show on grandparenting from our many listeners trying to
navigate this exciting yet dicey road.
We have gone to the experts to
bring parents and grandparents a “survival guide” in this episode!
Richard and Linda Eyre are among the most popular speakers in
the world on parenting and families. Their clients and audiences
range from The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and major
corporations and associations to a wide array of school, civic, church and
community groups. They’re also N.Y. Times #1 Bestselling authors of 30 Family
and Parenting books, two of which, just released, are on
The Eyres offer solutions to
help grandparents AND parents in their crucial roles. Below
are some of the things we discussed:
do grandparents navigate situations when there is
conflict between what you
as a grandparent want and what your kids want in relation to the
grandparents have to deal with trying (or not
trying) to bite their tongue when they don’t exactly agree with how their
kids are parenting. (Cue the inner voice saying “Can’t you
just say ‘No’ for once and be done with it?!?) What are
grandparents to do? The question really becomes “To bite or not to
bite...that is the question.
- Richard warns about going to either extreme:
saying too little OR saying too much. Communication is the
key to finding that balance. One thing that has worked really well
for the Eyres is a pact that they have made with their children.
Both sides acknowledge that grandparents have wisdom and
advice that could help the parents. The pact is that the
grandparents will share their advice and the parents agree not to
be offended. In return the grandparents agree that if the
parents don’t take the advice that they won’t be offended. The
Eyres have found that this pact has reduced conflict and bad
- Richard stressed above all, that the most
important thing for grandparents to remember is that the parents
are in charge. Sometimes that’s hard, but it’s the
- Family Culture.
Every family has a culture whether that has been developed
consciously or unconsciously. It’s crucial to recognize your
family culture and develop it. The positive aspects of that culture
are going to spread into your children’s homes and become even
better. There have been studies done that show how important
a child’s connection to their family heritage is to their own
success and resilience in life. Linda referenced an article in the
New York Times that showed that post 9/11 kids who knew the most
about their family narrative had the most resilience in their
recovery. If you would like to read that article, here is the
are some ways that grandparents can share these family narratives?
Richard and Linda shared three of their favorite activities.
Listen in to hear an in-depth explanation of these ideas.
these family stories into bedtime stories that can be read to the
grandkids at night.
- Put a
family tree up in a conspicuous place where kids can see how they
are connected to the names they hear.
- Create a “Grandma Hazel Day”. Hazel is
Linda’s mom. Each year they have a day to celebrate her by doing
things that she loved such as play football, work hard, and eat
- What kind of Grandparent do you want to be?
Each grandparent has a
decision to make about what KIND of grandparent they WANT to be.
Linda and Richard have created four groups that grandparents
- Disengaged: These grandparents
have the mindset of “I have raised my kids and now I’m
- Limited: These
grandparents love to see their grandchildren in limited doses and
on their own terms.
- Supportive: These
grandparents know their kids need all the help that they can get
and they want to be there for them.
- Proactive: These
grandparents know that their children are the stewards over the
grandkids, but they know that they have something special to offer
as well. This is a multi-generational approach and requires a
lot of communication with the best end result.
about those who feel overwhelmed by the idea of being the proactive
give up, even when it’s hard. Kids are forgiving and they
know when you’re really trying and making the effort. That is
the most important thing you can communicate to them.
- Grandparents can give unconditional love to the
grandkids, often more easily than parents because they aren’t in
are some actionable ideas about how grandparents can connect to
just think of grandparenting as Collective. If large groups
at once overwhelm you, remember that most of the really important
stuff happens one on one.
grandkids to lunch. While you are talking, take notes so you
can remember the details of their lives, their thoughts, and
feelings. They know when they see you writing it down that
you care enough to remember.
a Grammy Camp. Bring the kids over according to age groups
and have some bonding time.
your loves, interests and talents with them. Let them see you
as more than just grandma or grandpa.
- Ancestors Day. Have grandkids come over
and dress up as ancestors and have them act out a scene from that
are some helpful ideas about how grandparents can handle
the grandkids financial parameters and have them make a wish list
on Amazon. It makes it easy for you to get them something
they actually want, and it’s still a surprise because they don’t
know which item they will receive.
are some helpful ideas about how grandparents can handle
- Richard writes a handwritten letter on each of
the kids’ half birthdays. That way he knows it won’t be
overlooked by everything else they are receiving. He tells
them all the things that he loves about them.
sends a little money with a letter telling them her favorite
memories of them.
MOM / GRANDPARENT SQUAD CHALLENGE
RICHARD: The best way to become a better
grandparent is to become a better marriage partner. Find a
way to be a better partner this week and see how that skill
translates into becoming a better grandparent.
LINDA : If you don’t know how to text, learn
how this week. This is the best way to contact grandkids
(especially teens). They’ll answer right away! This week text
your grandkids (who have cell phones). Tell them you love
them, joke with them, or invite them to lunch!
We want to thank the Eyres for
spending time with us!
To learn more about Linda and Richard Eyre,
Or visit @RichardLindaEyre on
Instagram or visit Linda’s grandmothering book site which contains
recipes and more at www.grandmotheringbook.com
LINKS TO BOOKS WE
Being a Proactive
Life in Fall
I Didn’t Plan on Being a