Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Parent to Parent: Grandparents
Raising children can be an adjustment for the whole family. Not only are moms and dads learning their new roles, but so is everybody else. In tonight's Parent To Parent, we found being a good grandparent isn't easy but it is rewarding. No matter how far away you live.
WSVN--Whether it's taking a walk or just sitting on a swing, Marcee and David Berman can't get enough of their grandchildren.
David Berman: "Well, you know we get to play with them, love them, be loved by them, and give them back."
Grandpa Berman is so involved, he even started a grandparent group at The Dave And Mary Alper Jewish Community Center in Southwest Miami-Dade.
David Berman: "It's the most fun in the world, going into the classes, seeing people that were strangers at one time, smile when you walk into class."
But according to 7's Parenting Expert Dr. Debbie, there are many ways to create a special relationship with a grandchild.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "Grandparents can serve a number of roles, not only serve as sort of family historians and storytellers, they can be mentors, they can be role models, they can be incredibly important support systems for their children and their grandchildren."
To be a good grandparent, Dr. Debbie suggests first and foremost trying to spend individual time.
Dr. Debbie: "Even if it's 15 minutes make some time even if it's taking a walk, walking the dog together to have a little connecting time one on one and get to know each of them individually."
If it's a long distance relationship, make sure to stay close and connected by phone or e-mail.
And make sure to talk to your grandchild about specifics.
Dr. Debbie: "You might say how was that science exam you know, did you feel like you were ready for it? It lets them know that you really are interested in their lives, that you care, and even if you're not right there, you're with them."
Also try to share family stories - kids love that.
And create a ritual, like cooking together for a holiday or birthday.
But if you need a refersher course in raising kids, don't worry - there are classes.
Just remember, it's most important to serve as a positive role model.
And like the Berman's, enjoy the time you spend together.
David Berman: "Whenever I'm with them, it puts a smile on my face and a smile in my heart."
FOR MORE INFORMATION
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. DEBBIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
DR. DEBBIE GLASSER'S WEBSITE:
Dave And Mary Alper Jewish Community Center at the Jay Morton-Levinthal Campus
11155 SW 112th Avenue
Miami, FL 33176