Timely Tips for Grandparents
New census data reveals that 4.9 million children under the age of 18 live where grandparents are head of the household. If you are one of those grandparents, you may want to consider these tips as part of your action plan.
- When a child/teenager misbehaves, try saying: “ I’m not angry – a bit disappointed, maybe because your behavior right now just isn’t matching the good person inside you. I know that good person exists and I want to see him (her) come out again.”
- At the dinner table, ask: “What was the best part of your day?” You might also want to ask: “if there was one thing you could change about today, what would it be?”
- If you receive a call from a teacher or school administrator about the student’s misbehavior in the classroom, respond with: “I’d like to be part of the solution and not the problem. Tell me what you need so we may discuss this further.”
- Schedule a periodic family conference to review ground rules.
- You may even want to design a rating scale to show how well or poorly they are being followed. If the rating is low, ask the child what would need to be done to improve the rating.
- You can turn clean-up time and homework into a game by playing Beat the Clock. Set the kitchen timer for one hour and if the child completes the task fully and successfully before the timer goes off, offer a small reward. My kids earned their TV time this way.
Creative Problem Solving
- When a child makes a mistake, the best thing you can say is” “That was a perfect mistake for learning something new! Now, tell me what you would do differently the next time you find yourself in this situation.”
- Role-play can also be a way to help a child solve a troubling problem. Switch roles with the child and act out a problem and see what happens!
- As a grandparent raising grandchildren, you should be able to find support groups in your local area or on the Internet. In the meantime, you can try these tips – and you’ll be glad you did! The key to success here is consistency and practicing positive discipline.
- Children need to be led gently but firmly in approaching the challenges they will face in life. You can be instrumental in this and it will be your legacy.
- Fulbright Fellowship Seminars Abroad award to South Africa
- Ms. Maryland Senior America
- Volunteer internship during 2005 Maryland legislative session
- State representative for Alternatives to Violence Project
- Advisory board member: MD Healthcare Commission and Interagency Commission for Aging Services