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Three Timely Tips for Caregiver Grandparents

Three Timely Tips for Caregiver Grandparents

By Chloe JonPaul

New census data reveals that 4.9 million children under the age of 18 live in grandparent-headed households. If you are one of those grandparents, you may want to consider these tips as part of your action plan to promote good behavior and cooperation with your grandchild.

Communication Strategies

When a child/teen-ager 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 is in there and I want to see him/her come out again.”

At the dinner table, try starting a conversation by going around the table to everyone and ask: “What was the best part of your day?”

If you receive a call form a teacher or school administrator about your grandchild\’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 and let\’s see what we can work out to everyone\’s satisfaction”.

Co-operation Strategies

Schedule a periodic family conference to review ground rules. For example, you can turn clean-up times and homework into a game by playing Beat the Clock. Set the kitchen timer for an hour and if the child completes the task satisfactorily before the timer goes off, you can offer a small reward. Believe it or not, my kids earned their TV time this way.

You can learn more about fun activities such as cooking, gardening, and art at SandboxLearning.com. Such activities help children learn skills in co-operation. If your grandchild is a pre-schooler, another excellent resource is the Teaching Coooperation section on Utah State University\’s website.

Creative Problem-solving Strategies

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 in the future.”

Check out Creative Problem-solving for Kids by Diane Draze. She says that “students who learn the principles of CPS develop a sense of control in their lives derived from their ability to deal with situations creatively.”

Another excellent source is the interview done with therapist Sherry Lewis by Jaleh on the Yahoo contributor Network. voices.yahoo.com/teaching-problem-solving-skills-child-7761530.html.

Her A-B-C-D model is a must-read!

Children need to be led gently but firmly in approaching the challenges they will face in life, and you as that child\’s grandparent can leave a wonderful legacy using these tools.

Chloe Jon Paul, M.Ed., is a retired educator and writer of several published articles and a previous book entitled “What Happens Next: A Family Guide to Nursing Home Visits” and More… Her many achievements since the age of 55 include winning the title of Ms. Maryland Senior America in 2003, being a Recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship Seminars Abroad award to South Africa in 1996, and being a World traveler – to all 7 continents. Visit her website at http://chloejonpaul.com/

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