Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Being a day care Nana has for me, been a delightful experience. But, like all the jobs of the world it has those moments when you'd like to quit forever. One of the stresses of the 'job' is attempting to communicate with the child's parents without sounding like a 'know it all' or a constant stream of trickling advice. There is an interview with Dr. Brazelton flowing through the News Links on the side bar of this page. When asked what he thought the best advice for grandparents is, I had to laugh-- like he did.

What is your best advice for grandparents?
Dr. Brazelton: Stay out of it! (laughs) Whatever you say to your child hits below the belt because it’s much too meaningful. If they turn to you for advice, that’s different. My children all said to me ‘Dad, don’t tell me a thing. If I need you I’ll turn to you.’ They all turn to me.

Another challenge in the temporary position that I took on as a day care Nana was exactly what is described below. It's about 'letting go.' I filmed some of the feelings associated with this process in scenes in my upcoming book, Play Wit Me Nana. Sometimes that tremendous love that we have for our grandchildren needs to be held in check, so we don't rush in and 'steal the show.'

Brazelton: Learning to parent is something you learn from mistakes and successes. If you step in, parents don’t learn a thing. If you try something and it doesn't work and you try and try again, you learn a heck of a lot about your child and yourself. I believe that you don’t learn from outside, you learn from within. As a grandparent, I had my own experiences as a parent and they’ll have their own. If you’re too involved it takes away the feeling of excitement of learning and being able to say, ‘I did it and I did it right.

One comment that Dr. Brazelton made in this interview took me by surprise. When he is talking about the future of our grandchildren, he mentions that it is "a horrible world." This hit me 'below the belt.'

I've been accused of being sappy, but that word horrible just doesn't fit with all the beauty, wonder and good around us. Maybe he meant to say that there are some horrible things going on ...before mentioning war, aggression and the focus on money and power.

Still, I like to live on the sunny side of the street and pray and hope (he does too) for a good future for our grandchildren in a happy wholesome place that without a doubt, grandchildren are creating in our lives--- today.

Hurry, catch the story!

Grandparents Just Like You

By Heather Kempskie
Parents and Kids
Mon Sep 24, 2007, 09:05 AM EDT

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