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      PLEASE READ: We are moving the community   02/15/18

      Dear Community friends and family,   After great consideration, we are moving the Grandparents.com community to Facebook Groups effective March 15, 2018.   This wasn’t an easy decision, but we want to bring our communities together and believe the best place to do so is through Facebook’s groups feature. We’re so appreciative of you and the diverse conversations and opinions you have provided over the past 9 years. Your stories and amazing advice have helped so many readers, and have reached thousands of GP.com users. We encourage you to retrieve any information you want to retain as the forum will only be accessible by the admin after March 15, 2018. We’ve created a closed Facebook group called Mothers-in-Law Unplugged where we welcome you to continue the conversations around grandparenting, family, and in-law relationships, and any general topics we discuss here. As the group is closed and each user must be approved, your friends and family on Facebook won’t see any of your activity. Request to join the group here: http://bit.ly/milunplugged Thank you to all of our past and current users. You helped build our community, and we look forward to continuing to interact with you in the Facebook groups. If you have any questions about the groups and privacy, let’s chat about here:   Sincerely,   The Grandparents.com Team

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  1. More on The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell... Just as w/ adults, another one of the LLs the book explores in relation to kids is Acts of Service. For some kids, the authors explain, what we do for them says love the "loudest." And, in a way, that's good, IMO. These are kids who innately appreciate our efforts on our behalf - the meals we cook, the care we give them, etc., more than the gifts we give them, and so on. They have an inborn sense, apparently, that "actions speak louder than words." But as the authors, themselves, say, there's a point where every child, regardless of LL, has to learn to do this/that for themselves. Some of it comes almost naturally for most children, like learning to feed themselves. Other things adults might have to promote, such as learning to cook or do laundry. They talk about knowing when you really need to do a service for a child and when the best "service" you can do for them is teach them to do it on their own. ITA. But what if the child whose primary LL is AOS? Is he/she more likely to resist becoming more independent? The authors talk a lot about kids feeling "unloved" if you don't "speak their love language." So how do you (general) make the transition w/o their feeling a loss of love? How do you get them to understand that teaching them to be independent is another AOS - perhaps the ultimate one? Or do you just have to do it and not worry about it? The chapter on AOS is good, IMO, but the authors don't really cover this( possible) problem. Thoughts? Experiences? Observations?
  2. More on The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell... "Gifts" or "Receiving Gifts" is the 4th LL the book talks about. Of course, as the authors point out, all kids like to get present. But, according to them, the child whose primary LL is Gifts shows more excitement when they receive one, especially a coveted item. (Hmmm.. that might explain why my DGS jumps all around and cries out in delight when he gets a gift her really wanted and DGD, though happy, is more self-contained. Perhaps Gifts are his LL, but not hers.). For the child whose LL is Gifts, they explain, a present can send a "powerful emotional message." But, interestingly, the authors caution that more is not necessarily better in this category. While some parents or GPs love to "shower" their children or GC "with gifts," an abundance of presents, the authors warn, can diminish their meaning, even if Gifts is a child's main LL. In fact, they state that "too many" presents can destroy a child's LL, leaving their "love tank" rather dry. So perhaps this is an additional reason for parents and GPs, etc. to limit the amount of gifts they give children? And for parents/custodial GPs to set boundaries on how many gifts their child/GC is allowed to receive, as some people do? Or simply to discard/donate/regift any excess? Or ?? Thoughts? Experiences? Observations?
  3. More on The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell... The 3rd LL the authors talk about is Quality Time (QT). No doubt, it's a part of childcare/childrearing many of us have heard/read about often. But here's what caught my attention.Usually, I've read that QT has to involve something you actively do together - gardening, swimming, working on a craft project, etc. And  that things like watching a TV show together "didn't count." And, I admit, I've sometimes wondered why. If you (general) are sharing an experience you both enjoy, why isn't that "quality?" But no, the "experts" usually say it isn't. However, these 2 "experts" say differently. In their book, the mere acts of sharing a movie or reading quietly in the same room w/ your child/GC, each w/ your own book, etc. are listed as QT activities. "The most important factor in quality time," say the authors, " is not the event itself but that you are doing something together, being together." Thoughts? Experiences? Observations?
  4. More on The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell... The second LL the authors discuss in relation to kids is that of Words of Affirmation. Here, they separate WOA into 3 categories - expressions of love, praise & words of encouragement. And they have something to say about each category: 1. expressions of love - The book recommends that comments such as "I love you" should always "stand alone" - no, "I love you, so now will you do XYZ?" or "I love you, but you're upsetting me b/c,,," 2. praise - The authors are among those who favor specific praise ("Love the bright colors!") to general ("Beautiful drawing!:"), They also suggest that praise be "infrequent," to keep it meaningful. 3. words of encouragement - Even discipline can should be expressed in an encouraging way, whenever possible, say the authors. For example, they advise making a request, such as, "Would you take out the trash?" rather than barking, "Take out the trash now!" Asking, they explain, gives kids the chance to choose to do the right thing. Do you make a point to use any of the above w/ your kids/GC? Please feel free to share your thoughts/experiences/observations about any or all of these 3 categories of WOA...
  5. Last year, we discussed some topics in the General Gabbery stemming from Gary Chapman's book The 5 Love Languages. Now, I'm reading The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell ( author and former clinical psychiatrist).  Like the previous book, it raises some questions in my mind. I'm going to discuss them here b/c "childcare" & "childrearing" are among the topics covered in this forum. Also, as in the other book, this one identifies 5 "love languages" - Words of Affirmation (WOA), Quality Time (QT), Gifts, Acts of Service (AOS), & Physical Touch (PT). But unlike the other book, this one places PT first on the list. That's b/c the authors believe that PT "is the easiest" LL for parents "to use unconditionally," as they have ;constant opportunity" to show their kids their love via "touch" - a hug, a pat on the back, even playful "wrestling," etc.. Also, they contend that no matter what a child's main LLs, most kids need PT to help "fill their emotional tank." * But they also acknowledge that some parents are more demonstrative than others. And they suggest ways of "learning" to be more physically affectionate, especially if PT is your child's primary LL. I'm wondering though, if that might not feel a little forced even to the child? Or be a little awkward?  Is it better, perhaps, for a less demonstrative parent? to show love in other ways? And if a parent can't/won't be demonstrative, can/should a GP make up for it w/ extra hugs, high fives, etc?* Thoughts? Experiences? Observations? * I'm not speaking here of "inappropriate touch," of course, though the authors do admit that PT can have a negative side. But I've have put a trigger notice in the title just in case such issues come up.
  6. Today is Valentine's Day, but after it's over, we still need, of course, to show love to our spouses/SOs, children, GC, etc. Here I'm asking, how do you show love to your kids/GC (or any other relative kids)? Gifts? Good food? Time spent together? Hugs and kisses? Appropriate discipline? If your the regular granny (or other relative) nanny, do you think your childcare efforts are what really shows them you love them? Same question if you've taken on the job of raising your GC/relative kids? Or... ??
  7. My Grandmother's Doilies!

    A few years ago my elderly mother had to leave her apartment in the Veteran's Housing Development; the place she called home for most of her married life. Her family had grown up and out and the housing authority needed her spacious three bedroom apartment for another growing family. They transferred her to a smaller apartment in an Elderly Housing Complex nearby. Quietly she did not go! The family got together and helped her clear out what she couldn't take with her and packed what she wanted to keep. We stored the rest. The new living quarters was much smaller and each item's use was weighed and assessed carefully. That is how I got the bag of my grandmother's handmade, crocheted doilies. Happily I accepted them as I could see their future potential. We moved my mother into her new living situation; the adjustment was difficult for her. She mourned the memories she felt she was leaving behind. She and my father had raised their six children in that home and had enjoyed a happy marriage. Sadly 35 years ago and at the age of 60 my dad passed away leaving his 52 year old widow to fend for herself. He was too young to die and my mother was broken hearted. Her children rallied around her. Shortly afterwards it was clear that her own mother,my grandmother would need help and could no longer live alone. She moved in with my mother and happily lived out her final years. She passed away in 1994. Well, my mother finally moved. She had no choice if she wanted to live independently. Eventually she settled in and has adjusted nicely. She has grown to actually love her new neighborhood and her neighbors like her. This year as Valentines' Day approached I happened across the bag of old, or should I say "vintage" doilies. Age had discolored them but surprisingly they were intact. I soaked them clean and blocked them. I then fashioned the pillowcase in a simple envelope style and sewed the doily in place.I visited my now 87 year old mother the day before the holiday and gave her the pillow. She was genuinely thrilled. She has remarked that she loves having something handmade by her mother on her sofa. It has invoked many happy memories. This is my mom below. (her picture is posted here with her permission!) Happy Valentine's Day Mom, I Love You! http://www.finallyfinishing.com
  8. Missing my granddaughter!

    Hello, My daughter whom was not in her right frame of mind, gave up my granddaughter for adoption. My granddaughter has been gone now going on 2 years. I really miss and love her. I have been trying to get her back. The lawyers for the couple who has my granddaughter seem to be very mean and hateful. I told them about my dauther’s condition and what she has been through, but they could care less. Me and my family do Not have a lot of money. Every attorney I contact will not take the case. I have send emails to the family that has my granddaughter stating that she has family and friends whom loves her very much and we would love to have her back in our lives. But, they decided to put their attorneys on me to stop emailing them. Even if I couldn’t get her back, I would at the least like to have some type of visitation. The family and lawyers seem to be powerful people with plenty of money. They know she has family and friends that loves her, but again they could care less. We have decided to get the media involved in this now to show that we are not giving up on my granddaughter. Does anyone have any advice?
  9. A Messenger

    A Messenger Daniel was four: light hair, fair skin, small-boned, diminutive-- the smallest of the three families gathered around the table in grandma and grandpa's kitchen. The food was deli, conversation free-flowing and typical, equal parts news and light-hearted banter. A break...and then, like a subtle, sudden breeze cooling the skin, Daniel, messenger from the universe, gently filled the pause-- "I love you, papa." There was a stillness as everyone consulted their inner gyroscopes before resuming the ordinary business of being family. © 2014 Dennis H. Ference Ten years have passed since the incident described above. When it happened, I admit, warm feelings swelled my heart, most of them celebrating ego. "Daniel must think that I'm pretty special," and other such self-serving thoughts rushed into consciousness. You see, I was still kind of new at this grandparenting stuff. Taking time to write today's poem a couple of nights ago, after encountering multiple, random sparks of the mind, I eventually quieted my racing thoughts and allowed myself to descend into the deeper waters of stillness and intuition. That's when a window opened within me where I saw 4-year old Daniel, the messenger, speaking his words not just to me, but the entire family. I saw him reminding us that the building blocks of family life are just these sorts of precious, present moments lived honoring the creative flow of Love. And if Love is to thrive, cautioned Daniel, we must not neglect to speak its name, speak it spontaneously and often.
  10. Tough Love?

    Do you have a deadline for when your AC (and family, if any) are supposed to move out? Have you ever approached them with an either/or proposition, such as "Either you follow house rules/stick to this/that contract or you have to leave?" If so, was it a matter of "tough love" or pure frustration and how is it working out? If not, why not?   Please feel free to answer any or all of my questions below. And to add any other thoughts you may have on the topic...
  11. I have been a grandmother for almost 13 years this 5/23/2013. I just love spending time with them and did every week until the end of April. My problem is with my daughter in law she always trying to separate us because her family doesn't have the same values. I was laid off from work last summer and asked if she needed my help while she worked. I was told only Wednesdays which was fine. But when my 9 year old Grandson tells me in front of he's mother that he learned to hold going to the bathroom for 8 hours or more because Mom send him to a neighbor house that is so dirty he refuses to go. I offered but no she took him to her Mom house in which her 17 year old sister watch him. He was unhappy there because he told me that he only sleep there  in which he's Mom even mention to me she dropped he off @8 am and pick him up @2pm he slept the whole time and didn't even eat. I offered again since I was so upset on how someone would do this. She does NOT care about anyone but her Mom and sister. I know she always lies to my son about anyone in our family. 1x was 5 years ago my son was away on business and we had a birthday party at my other sons house for he's daughter. They had a piñata and broke it and race for the candy. They got a little over excited so he said Hey!  Hey don't pull from each others hands I have a whole bag left.  She just stood there. Then the boys were asked to go to a carnival with my daughter the same night and she yelled NO. She went home and called my son and said that the boys got yelled at and she was scared?! My son would NOT talk to he's brother for months since he heard this. I was there it was a lie. Then 2 years ago we had a birthday party for my granddaughter again at there house everything seemed fine until she was talking to my husband that had a sponge bob piñata on he's head while she was talking to him my grandson punched him in the face with all he's might. Before this he's 12 year old brother said Ry no that hurts but she told him to leave him alone. My husband got upset since he didn't see it coming and left. She laughed and went in the back yard and must of told my son something else. He came out front and said that my husband is not allowed to come over until he says he's sorry?! I've have try to explain to my son but he didn't want to hear it. My husband went back a month later for my sons bday with presents and was yelled at and told to leave with he's gifts. Now my daughter was asked to stop by on a Saturday night to party with them. Texting her to hurry in which she did. She loves her brothers and feelings were the same. She got there and not even a hour later a agreement broke out with her and she left very upset. My daughter in law just sat there and let it happen. The problem was they don't like my daughter's partner come to find out. But then again my DIL doesn't seem to like anyone she always finds faults. They knew she was coming by the way. My daughter was in disbelief and text her brother What the problem was. And yes he was drunk and said some nasty things to he's only sister. I didn't bring up my kids this way. Now she is not allowed to my grandson's birthday and neither am I because I asked what was going on?! On Easter I was told that my daughter's partner is not allowed at there house because of her mouth. My daughter did stop by on easter to give the boys, there Easter baskets and gifts from Mexico by herself. When I walked her to her car she was upset. I asked my son on the side what is going on with you and her. He yelled at me and told me to leave. I did tell him I seen the text about him wishing my daughter was dead. He said I was sticking up for her in which if he didn't make the comment on Easter, my plan not to bring anything up. I am very upset on losing my grandsons and since it's the 12 years old B-day on Thursday I am not invited. What to do?