Friday, March 30, 2007

A Nana's Challenge

As a first time grandparent I found out how much fun it is to "play". So much fun that it prompted me to write a book, PLAY WIT ME NANA! The book is also a mini memoir of my memories about my own grandparents and my husbands recollections of his, woven into a journal-like auto biography of the first three years of day caring my granddaughter. Now here's my challenge. Mackenzie and I have played away most of our days together. She will play alone if I ask her to, although she does it somewhat reluctantly, because she would much prefer to have me present in the scenes and scenarios she so marvelously creates on a non-stop basis. An old friend, old in chronological age (100) told me soon after my grandaugher was born, about her own sister, a great grandmother at 80, who was babysitting during the days ---her great grandchild. Her younger sister (80) was spending her days throwing a ball to the three year old, back and forth, back and forth, because she was not well enough to do much else. The grandmother didn't want to throw the ball for that many hours, but the child wanted to, so this is what they did until it got out of hand (pardon the pun) and they were throwing (and kicking) the ball back and forth for most of the hours everyday. Children the Challenge, written in 1964, has a great chapter on THE CHILD'S MISTAKEN GOALS. Over the next four days we'll take a look at each one. The four mistaken goals are 1) The desire for undue attention 2) The struggle for power 3) Retaliation and Revenge and 4) Complete inadequacy. I am not a psychologist of any type and I am not giving advice to anyone but myself. I found this chapter and a few others to have some very good common sense instruction on teaching a child how to get a sense of belonging and how to find his/her place. "Participation implies co-operation with the needs of the situation," says the writer. Grandparents like me can find some comfort and balance in this 'old advice'. If your grandchild is demanding constant attention, he or she might have a mistaken goal. Most grandparents love to give attention to their grandchildren. We love it. However, if you are spending many hours with them on a regular basis this chapter might help you as it has helped me to see some of the ways we can help them get the attention they love (and need) in positive ways, without them demanding constant attention.

No comments:

Total Pageviews