01/4/22

Grandparenting Books

There are quite a few grandparenting books on the market these days. Most of them focus on the journey the grandparent makes and what it’s like becoming a grandparent. There are a few that focus on the grandparent relationship with the grandchildren, their interactions, the activities they do together, and how to strengthen their relationships. Some of these books are written with the grandmother’s perspective, some with the grandfather’s perspective, others give both sides of the equation. I’ve read a fair few of these books, all kinds. They all have their positives and give insights on this new status we’ve entered into, of grandparent. I’m sure many grandparents can benefit from each of these books. I think for most grandparents we sort of fall into the role of grandparent with lots of excitement, willingness to help, and without much difficulties. I know there can be problems for some with decerning this new title and what it entails, but for most we get it and willingly take on the new name of Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, Mimi, Gramps, Paw-paw, Maw-maw, or whatever else our dear little people want to call us.

The book I’ve been writing isn’t really the kind of grandparent book that explores the problems of figuring out how to be a grandparent. The quandary I focus on in my book is building relationships with our grandchildren, even if they live far away. The book has lots of simple activities that can be done via video chat between grandparents and grandchildren. Yeah, I suppose I put my teacher’s hat on a bit, I do give lots of helps on creating the activities. In my book I provide fun and well tested stories, games for the grandparent to make, and other guides to help in not just building and strengthening your relationships with your grandchildren, but having the kind of fun that produces laughter, joy, and wonderful memories. I have thoroughly field tested all the stories, games, and activities with my own grandchildren. They get wonderfully excited when they hear that Grandma’s on video chat. I love that! Over the past few years, we have built a relationship that I hope will get us through their teenage years and far beyond. I may not live close, I may not get to spend the time I would absolutely love to spend with them, but creating and sharing these activities with them over video chat helps me as a grandmother, and has created a real relationship with each of my grandchildren. They know me, and I know them. It hasn’t always been easy, living this far away, but I do my best to make sure they know Grandma loves them.

This isn’t a new problem, but it’s a problem we all face in our world today. We want to spend time with our grandchildren, even if we can’t be there in person. I think I’ve found some solutions in my book that I hope to share with everyone soonish. Until then, if you’d like to read some of the books I’ve read about grandparenting I provide a list below. I also found a pretty good article from the New York Times that is a bit informative.

 

Article from the New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/well/family/where-are-all-the-grandparenting-books.html

 

Grandparenting books:

Title – This Was Not on My Bucket List!: Navigating “Old School” Grandparenting in a “Newfangled” World

Author name – Linda Macconnachie

This book is great fun. It uses a lot of humor to compare the author’s childhood experiences with her parents and grandparents and the experiences she had with raising her own children, to the experiences she had with her grandchildren. She does mention long distance grandparenting, briefly. While there are some commonalities with my book, humor, relationship building, spending quality time with grandchildren and so forth. My book focuses on long distance grandparenting and many activities that can be done to build the relationships with the long distance grandchildren.

 

Title – Grandmothering: The Secrets to Making a Difference While Having the Time of Your Life

Author name – Linda Eyre

This book has lots of in person ideas to do with grandchildren. The author calls them “Grammie Camps” where they play games, sing songs, and memorize special verses. She shares lots of things she did with her grandchildren and reminisces about different aspects of being a grandmother, which is great, but doesn’t get into any long distance relationship building. In my book the relationships are built as the grandparents learn to play, and share their experiences with their grandchildren. It focuses on being present with your grandchildren in a long distance way. My book doesn’t focus on me, it focuses on helping other grandparents find their way as long distance grandparents.

 

Title – The Modern Grandparent’s Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to the New Rules of Grandparenting

Author name – Dr. Georgia Witkin

This book gives lots of statistics and polls on the different aspects of being a grandparent and dealing with the different rolls a grandparent encounters. These rolls include, the other set of grandparents, son in laws, daughter in laws and so forth. It focuses on the grandparent side of things and taking care of yourself. It gives lots of advice to the grandparent. It does have a little about activities with grandchildren, but mostly what you can do with older grandchildren.

My book doesn’t give one poll or statistic, or really even give advice on grandparents dealing with situations with other grandparents, or other in-laws. My book does give some encouragement to the grandparent and learning how to grandparent in a new way. It tells about some of the changes that have happened over the years, and how living far apart has become the new norm for a lot of grandparents. My book helps the grandparent reach their grandchildren in a way that will build strong and lasting relationships, relationships that will be remembered for a very long time.

 

Title – Grandparenting on Purpose: Fresh Ideas, Activities, and Traditions for Connecting with Grandchildren Near and Far

Author name – M. Winston Egan, Linda Egan

In this book the authors tell about many of their own interactions with their grandchildren. They relate stories of attending sporting events, dinners, phone calls, and even postcards, they’ve used to build relationships with their grandchildren, who all live nearby. They even give some recipes at the end of the book of favorite things they’ve shared with their grandchildren. They present a very close and caring relationship with each other, their grown children, and grandchildren of all ages, including great-grandchildren.

My book helps grandparents who live far away find ways to enjoy special times with their grandchildren, through video chatting. Long distance grandparenting takes a bit more work, but I believe we can create those close, caring relationships from afar.

 

Title – Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today

Author name – Jane Isay

This book focuses on the psychology of grandparenting. The author gives lots of practical advice on how grandparents can grow relationships with their grandchildren and their children. She encourages grandparents to share stories from family history and their own lives to help build relationships. She encourages them to become free from whatever parenting regrets they have by becoming caring, understanding grandparents.

In my book I do encourage grandparents to build strong relationships with their grandchildren by the play and interaction that is created for them in each activity.

 

Title – Championship Grandfathering: How to Build a Winning Legacy

Author name – Carey Casey

This author quotes a lot of research to support what he’s presenting in this book. He gives a lot of advice and encouragement to fathers and grandfathers to be involved in their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. The author even gives a formula to use, along with his encouragement to “enter the grandchild’s world”.

In my book I support entering the grandchild’s world through video chat play time. This helps the grandparent build strong relationships with their grandchildren. Each video chat playtime activity in my book, is structured in a way that engages the grandparents and grandchildren, not just in play time, but in relationship building as well. These activities can bring them all closer together and as the children grow older, their relationships will grow stronger.

12/12/21

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Below is a free gift from me to you. This long-distance grandparenting activity will have the grandchildren in giggles and it might make the grandparents chuckle a bit too. I hope you get to spend some video-visiting time with your family this season. This one is super simple and super easy to do!

Phineas Meets Santa Activity

[Full instructions below the Phineas Letter]

If you and your grandchildren haven’t met Phineas yet you can insert the following explainer paragraph into the front of the letter:

[My name is Phineas, I’m a mouse with no tail, but many tales to tell. I do ramble on at times, but that’s just because I have so much to say.

I lost my tail, back when the first lightning bolt ever to happen struck me. Yes, it was a rear attack. I woke with no tail, a terrible headache, and the ability to communicate with people.]

 

Each time your grandchildren hear a number mentioned in the letter they get to open a tiny present. The numbers are highlighted/bolded for your convenience, a sort of cheat sheet, make sure not to send the highlighted version to your grandchild.

Dear (Insert your grandchild’s name here)

I must tell you of a time long ago when I took a break from exploring, dinosaur hunting, and traveling. I went to visit my old friend Clem. Clem was a professor and very smart. We had many lovely conversations and got along very well. He even fancied himself a poet. Clem had a large family of nine children, ranging in age from infant to about thirteen years old at the time of my visit to his home.

It just happened that my visit was at Christmas time, I do love Christmas time, it’s my absolute favorite time of year. When I arrived at Clem’s home I found that the older five children were out of school, the younger four of course were out as they didn’t attend school. The house was full of fun and games and lots of laughter. There were also some wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen. His wife was an excellent cook!

Clem wrote a poem about that Christmas Eve, his poem was very clever, but my version is more truthful. Below is my version of Clem’s poem.

He wrote A Visit from St. Nicholas, I titled my story – An adventure with Santa Claus – I’m not a poet, I’m more of a storyteller.

He wrote:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

I wrote:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

not a creature was stirring, except one mouse.

Honestly, he knew I was still up and having a snack, also I heard a few giggles coming from the nursery too.

He wrote:

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

I wrote:

The house was decorated so very lovely, and was warm and cozy. There were twelve stockings hung by the chimney. The children had insisted I hang one of my own, so I obliged just to join in the festivities.

Everyone was anxiously wondering what Santa would bring them.

But, those kids were not asleep, I can’t imagine he didn’t know that.

He wrote:

And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

I wrote:

His wife was tending to the baby, who hadn’t settled in for the night yet.

Clem was a bit grumpy, and seemed to infer that any noise making would incur his wrath.

He wrote:

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

I wrote:

The noise outside was quite loud. It sounded like a train had landed in the front garden. I was sure there was a misstep of some kind that happened. Clem angrily got up, promptly stubbed his toe, and shouted a few things I won’t repeat here.

He wrote:

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

I wrote:

I ran to the living room window. The moon was shining very brightly and one could see the whole scene out there. Yes, there was a sleigh and eight reindeer. They were not miniature, all eight of them, were very large, and really quite beautiful. Santa managed to get things under control quickly, so the damage was minimal to the sleigh. The tree in Clem’s front garden, well, that had to be taken down.

He wrote:

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

I wrote:

After Santa got the sleigh and reindeer in check,

they took off again, and made it to the roof.

He wrote:

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

I wrote:

What happened next was a complete shocker. It sounded like a herd of buffalo landed on the roof, you could hear the rafters groaning under the weight of it all. Before we knew what to expect Santa bounded out the chimney. Clem’s descriptions of him were close, but I’m not sure he would have appreciated the bowl full of jelly comment.

Also, even though Santa didn’t speak to Clem, he did speak to me.

When he appeared suddenly out of the chimney I squeaked and shouted, “Great gobs of blue cheese! What the heck!”

He answered by saying, “Oh, you must be Phineas. I’ve heard about you, but I didn’t think you were real.”

I responded with, “I’ve often heard of you as well, and had my questions about your validity too.”

We had a bit of a chuckle and became fast friends. Santa and I talked for a while, then he invited me to come with him to visit his home. Well, of course, I did. I’ll tell you about that another time, but suffice it to say it was one of my favorite adventures.

Toodles and Merry Christmas

Phineas

 

As you can surmise, you will need twelve tiny gifts for your grandchild, or grandchildren, to open when they hear the numbers. I used small Christmas candy coins, made tiny books, and ornaments to fill my tiny gift boxes with. You can of course use whatever you wish, and make them whatever size you want them to be. Our personal likes, dislikes, and budgets usually play into this part. Group the tiny gifts together in a folder, bag, or box your grandchildren can reach into.

List of things you’ll need for this activity:

The Phineas letter – copy and paste the letter into whatever word processing software you have. Remember to put your grandchild’s name at the beginning of the letter, ad in decorative page boarders and clipart to make it a visual feast.

The twelve tiny gifts – wrapped in whatever way you wish. This could simply be a package of assorted candies, whatever you want to share with your grandchildren.

An envelope for Phineas’ letter – it should be a bit fancy or decorative, that’s just Phineas’ way

Once you have your activity together remember to write a personal letter or Christmas card to each grandchild from you.

 

A Visit from St. Nicholas was written by Clement Clarke Moore. You can do your own research or go to the website linked below to get more information on him and his world-famous poem.

https://poets.org/poem/visit-st-nicholas

Below are pictures of what I prepared for my own grandchildren. Hope this helps!