But who has the time for the magical moment with a child? Who has the time to really listen to what she is saying and even write it down, next to a digital picture of the moment when it was said? Probably not the child's mom or dad. And who has the time to help her develop the social and intellectual skills she really will need to be a good citizen?
Most likely it will be the grandparent. If grandparents realize how important they are they can take the time to step up to the plate. It is a grandparent who can have the magical moments with a grandchild; to find those flowers to press and start the rock collection and sit in the window seat chatting about how it was to grow up long ago. And in grabbing those magical moments a grandparent does something else. The grandparent will be doing a great service to the next generation. The grandparent will be helping them grow in three basic ways that no one else in the world may have the time or patience to attend to. Here they are:
1.Grandparents can help grandchildren develop curiosity. Nothing stirs the mind to be curious than someone else so fascinated by a subject that you just have to learn more. Grandparents have the time to be fascinated and to pass that feeling along. For example, just learning how to grow tomatoes in a barrel can be interesting and exciting for both grandparent and grandchild. Or perhaps a neighbor speaks in sign language and it is grandma who decides both she is grandchild will learn to also speak that way. The determination of the grandparent can rub off on a grandchild. The grandchild will then see the world as a multi-faceted marvelous place that grandma has helped her notice!
2. As grandparents we can help our grandchildren develop their intellects. Whether you live around the corner or thousands of miles away, you can send your grandchild books, interesting articles, puzzles, games, etc. And you can make sure that when you are with her you teach her lots of stuff. You can discuss the news, find countries on the globe, play word and number games, read plays aloud. All is good for developing the mind and expanding the mind so that your grandchild will think beyond her direct environment.
3. As grandparents we can help grandchildren develop social skills. You have the time to teach manners; perhaps how to set a table or how to open a door for grown-ups. You can take her out to eat, even if it is at the local diner. And you can teach her how to read a menu, eat with intention and enjoyment, make good conversation as she eats, etc. You can teach her how to ballroom dance, or maybe square dance. You can take her to meet your friends or to do good needs. She can help you at the local food canteen or socialize with your friends.
What is the result? The grandchild may grow up to be a fine, caring, knowledgeable person with a desire to help others and be able to socialize with people of all ages.
Dr. Barbara speaks regularly on radio programs around the country, and appears on television in New York and New Jersey. Her inspiring audio shows and podcasts can be found on the web, along with hundreds of her articles and stories. She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Simple Pleasures, The Wall Street Journal, Time on line, and Family Circle Magazine. She was quoted in an article entitled 'What A Big Mistake Can Teach You' in the September issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. She can be reached using the information below or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Positive Psychologist and Happiness Coach, is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for increasing happiness. Dr. Holstein has been a school psychologist for over 25 years. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
Her pathfinder book ‘The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy’ was published in 1997 by Harwood Academic Publishers and is now in its second printing through Brunner-Routledge. Her second book ‘Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!’ has received rave reviews as a wonderful inspirational story book. ‘DELIGHT’, Dr. Holstein’s third book is available in two versions, paperback and a CD-rom that includes music, art, and Dr. Holstein’s voice.
Her book, ‘The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m Smart and I Know Everything)’ is a first in positive psychology. It is a fiction book for girls, tweens and teens. Written by an 11 year old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara has embedded within the story positive truths and concepts geared to help girls develop self-esteem and resiliency.
Her second book in The Truth Series is Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I’ll Tell You Mine…maybe!’