WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
MODULE ONE: THE JOYS OF LIFE’S AUTUMN SEASON AND THE T.E.A.M. APPROACH TO GRANDPARENTING
It turns out that being just “over the hill” is the best place to be, and two of the main reasons are that our kids are grown and our grandkids are small and impressionable and so very open to our love. So how can we love and enjoy this season more? How do we make son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws feel completely included? How do we shift from being managers to being consultants in our extended family? How do we become difference-making grandparents and give the gifts of identity, values, connection, and support to our beloved posterity? And how can we still do it when our grandkids may live far away. How can we create our own “vision statement” of what we want the Autumn of our lives to be? How do we “write our own story?”
“T.E.A.M.” of course, has a double meaning: Working as a team with our children-the-parents without stepping on their toes, and playing the roles of Trunk, Ear, Assembler, and Match.
MODULE TWO: BEING THE “TRUNK” | GIVING THE GIFTS OF IDENTITY, RESILIENCE, AND VALUES
Research shows that kids who know their grandparents and know about their great and great-great grandparents have more resilience and a stronger sense of identity and confidence than those who don’t. How can we become the trunk that connects our branches with our roots? How can we create an “ancestor book” to teach grandkids where they came from? How do we identify the values we want to teach and share them in ways that don’t sound like a lecture? How do we communicate our faith? How do we make our family culture stronger than the peer culture and the social media culture? How can we be our grandkids’ cheerleaders when they are small, and their champions and consultants as they grow?
MODULE THREE: BEING THE “EAR” | GIVING THE GIFTS OF LOVE, LISTENING, AND CONFIDENCE
Generations 1 and 3 can connect without judgement, discipline or pressure, and grandparents can become the cheerleaders and champions and consultants for their grandkids. How can we get kids to talk to us, to trust us, to feel our love, and to ask for our guidance? How can we know them better physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually? How can we help them identify their gifts, their passions, and their unique individual potential? How can we develop strong, personal individual relationships with each grandchild? How do we maximize the fun and the laughter in these relationships?
MODULE FOUR: BEING THE “ASSEMBLER” | GIVING THE GIFTS OF COMMUNITY, AND BELONGING
It turns out that blood really is thicker than water, and that the family relationships of cousins, uncles and aunts, and in-laws across three generations are the most lasting and important human bonds of our lives. How can we facilitate these relationships and keep them strong? How can we gather and connect our families in vibrant and effective ways? How can we find unity amongst diversity? How can we create gatherings and reunions that are affordable and that become the glue that holds us together? What kind of “Gen 1 & 3 trips or outings work best? How can we be together electronically despite physical distance? How can we have “no empty chairs?”
MODULE FIVE: BEING THE “MATCH” | GIVING THE GIFT OF SUPPORT, AND A FINANCIAL HEAD START
The irony of most extended families is that the older members have more resources and less needs, while the younger members have more needs and less resources. How can we give financial help in ways that provide motivation rather than entitlement? How can we be fair about it? How can we encourage our grandkids to earn and save and spend responsibly and to choose their education and career paths wisely?