Long Distance Grandparenting

Ah, the joy of grandchildren !  What compares to the pleasure of playing with and watching your child’s major production[s] grow and develop?  Living at a distance can be a challenge when in-person visits are not  frequent and you want to be with them and participate in their lives

 

Fortunately, technology now offers an opportunity to be aware of what’s going on, and changing, in their lives as well as having some positive influence.  Various modes of communication make it possible to keep those relationships fresh, fun and frequent.

 

With young children, you can talk, sing, read short books and show them age appropriate   items of interest with zoom, face time or videos….a treat for you both and maybe a little time off for parents.   Doing so on a consistent basis sets the stage for future ‘visits’ and something to anticipate, further solidifying the connection.  As they age, ask about their activities – school events, and tell them some of yours.  As they age, you can both read the same book and talk about it.  If you travel, send them a tee shirt, brochure or other souvenirs with descriptions of the area and your memories.  In addition to your lovely vacation, you broaden their horizons.

 

Again, as your grandchildren grow, playing games can vary with their interests and skills.  “Toy Theater” has a wide choice of fun educational games to be played on two computers.  It’s learning for the young and a good reflex experience for  seniors.  If your grandchildren are age seven or older, chances are they will know about a number of sites for computer play.

 

With more maturity and the solid foundation of your connected relationship, your grandchildren will be more likely to include you in their news and lives. Being lovingly understanding, consistent and flexible can be a safe haven for them when they are presented with awkward or difficult situations.  They learn  and appreciate what a gift grandparents are.

Coronavirus…..Not Just About The Body

There is a deluge of information about the coronavirus –  how we might get it and what it can do to us.  Stay home, as much as possible, wash hands often and well, avoid others…six feet, etc.  Protect your body, those of your family, older parents, stay in touch with friends.

Cabin fever may be setting in, accompanied by loneliness, for some,  or too much constant contact with family members for others.  The persistent clamor of what to do, or not, and what to expect, the numbers….how many have it, how many have died, the stock market, loss of jobs.  The uncertainty about when it will come to our community, when it could subside.  To say this is a stressful time is a bold understatement!

Continue to be diligent and keep your body healthy but  remember to pay attention to what is going on in your head.  Are you sinking into despair, focusing on all of the negatives and anticipating the worst?

There is a considerable mind/body connection so both need tending.  Conscious work to  recognize and appreciate what we do have, can lift spirits and help to  better adapt to the current situation.  Please consider some of the following:

  1. If you have good health, enjoy it and know do your  very best to maintain it.
  2. Stop and smell those roses; maybe you were too busy to see them before.
  3. Contact friends and family.  Human connection is essential for most of us.  Reach out, call, text, email, send pictures.
  4. Losing some aspects of our lives may help to appreciate them more.  It’s not the things.  Was there too much emphasis on getting and having more?
  5. Experiences  are invaluable.  Revisit old ones, alone, or with others.  Ponder  how to create new ones.  Be creative in your own personal way.
  6. Building memories now.  How would you like to recall this period in the future?
  7. This, too will pass so look forward contemplate future projects.
  8. Reflect on joys of the past, deal logically with the present and “see” the wonder of what you would like in the future.

There will be a future!  This phase can be a learning tool to someday remind yourself that you did it and will be able to deal with whatever blows your way.

Wishing you all well…

If it seems too difficult, I will be working remotely and you can reach me at klempners@aol.com

 

 

 

Mothers and Mothering

With Mother’s Day on the horizon have you thought about your mother? What was she like when you were growing up?

* What was her parenting style… strict, laissez-faire?                                                        * What did you like to do with her?                                                                                    *  Did you confide in her?                                                                                                    *  How did she discipline?                                                                                                    *  What are you favorite memories?                                                                                                                          * How was she, in your eyes, with your father?                                                                                                                                 *  How will you honor her?

Are you a mother?

*  How would your child[ren[ describe you?                                                                      *  Do you say/do things you swore you wouldn’t – because your mother did ?               *    How do you think your child[ren] will quote you?                                                      *    What memories would you hope they have?                                                              *    Do you see your mother differently now that you are one?                                         *   Do you consciously emulate her ?                                                                               *   Do you appreciate how hard – and joyful -it is to mother?

We are all our mothers, to some degree.  We are all human.  Let your mother know how much you appreciate her now that you know what a struggle it is and also how wonderful…to be a mother.

 

 

 

 

The New Year

Sharon Klepner Licensed Clinical Social Worker

The New Year

We hear about tossing out the old year and ringing in the new one.  We look forward to a new year, new friends, new experiences and challenges.  No matter one’s age, it can be exciting to go forward, not knowing who or what will pop up in our lives.  Especially if you have lived a long time [whatever age you think that is] and like surprises, the future is yours.

But, let’s not forget the old year(s) and all that it has provided us, moving into the future.  We are a product of our past, from way back to recent times.  Past challenges, problems and opportunities helped create who we are now.  There were experiences we learned from and we can use that ‘education’ living it forward.  Likely, there were mistakes made, offering us the opportunity to correct some of them or to reconnect with someone we may miss.  Apologies are about self searching and self-confidence and enhance growth .

Memories of old friends, homes, trips, music, etc. enrich our lives today as we recall some of those moments.  So, anticipate 2019 but don’t ‘toss’ out the past.  select and bring forward whatever will add to the new year and make it even richer.

Happy old and new year !!