Grandparent Greatness


Featured Picture Book

MY GRANDMA LIVES IN FLORIDA by Ed Shankman

(Available at your local public library or bookstores, including online stores.)

MY GRANDMA LIVES IN FLORIDA is about a young gator’s visit to see his grandma. It is much like a travel brochure. Its best features are its rhyming words, descriptions of the state of Florida, and praise for grandparents. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself or your child repeating parts of the book again and again because rhyme “…remains in our brains for all time!” And, rhyming words are “ … the best way a thing can be said.”

Parenting Thoughts

A Grandparent Greatness List

Dr. Mom:

1.  They shower you with hugs and kisses. According to MY GRANDMA LIVES IN FLORIDA, “Only a grandma can kiss you like this.”

2.  They think you are funny. MY GRANDMA LIVES IN FLORIDA talks about Grandma laughing “with delight” and the young gator thinking, “I can’t always tell why she thinks I’m amusing.”

Darling Daughter:  I’ve wondered that when watching my grandmother laughing until she coudn’t breathe while Darling Lil’ Sis told nonsensical knock – knock jokes. I just didn’t get it. J

3.  They are willing to do fun things as many times as you want to. The grandma in MY GRANDMA LIVES IN FLORIDA reads things “hundreds of times.”

4.  They love you with no strings attached. According to MY GRANDMA LIVES IN FLORIDA, grandmothers “love you for reasons you can’t understand.”

5.  They let you know that you are “the best thing” in their whole entire day. You are their main attraction.

6.  They encourage you to grow up, so they teach you new things and let you do things your parents won’t let you do.

Mom, what have you been telling Ezzy? J

I won’t tell if Ezzy doesn’t. J

7.  They take time to explain things, how things work, and why things are the way they are. And, they love doing it.

8.  They are funny. They use words kids don’t hear in other places, like whipper-snapper, davenport, picture show, pocket book, thing-a-ma-gig, catawampus, or cattycornered.

Well, I’m feeling grandparent-ish . . . I use those words. This week I talked about a “singing telegram,” and E looked at me like I was crazy – she had no idea what I was talking about.

9.  They tell family stories and exaggerate them to be good for a laugh. They show old pictures and home movies that make you laugh.

Yes, they show pictures that should have been destroyed YEARS ago!

Never.

10.  They like to talk to you. Everything you say is interesting. They haven’t heard your words and curious questions a thousand times like your parents have.

11.  They like to be asked questions. There are never too many questions for grandparents. After all, they usually don’t see you everyday.

12.  They get excited for your accomplishments, sad about your disappointments, and always encourage you.

If you are a grandparent or someone who acts like a grandparent to a child – celebrate that. You are great – just like the Grandparent Greatness List says.

I have to agree, grandparents are pretty great!

If you are a parent and are lucky enough to have grandparents (real or adopted) in your child’s life – celebrate them. Children need as many people in their circle of love as possible. The more there are the better it is.

I must admit that my Grandparent Greatness list is the ideal, and not all family situations are ideal. It is true that some grandparents don’t know enough about children or aren’t healthy enough themselves (physically, mentally, or emotionally) to actually be the type of grandparent my list talks about.

If that is true in your case, be on the lookout for friends and other family members of the grandparent age who, if they had a chance to get to know your child, would love him the way I’ve described. Then, invite those folks into your family.

Oh, the Places You Can Go.  
(Thanks to Dr. Seuss for that rhyme.)

MY GRANDMA LIVES in FLORIDA is a lesson in geography. It tells all about Florida – its cities, birds, animals, and fish. And many, many other picturebooks do that for other states and countries as well. What better way to begin to teach your child about the places in the world. Think of some you and your child are interested in and search out picturebooks about them from the library or on the Internet.

I know this is not a picturebook but it is about having fun with geography – “The Scrambled States of America.” We have been enjoying playing this game that asks kids to find letters in the state names or find one that is closest to a given state. Great game.

And given to E by a grandparent I might add.

Read All About It

GROWING UP AGAIN, Jean Illsley Clarke and Connie Dawson

SELF ESTEEM A FAMILY AFFAIR, Jean Illsley Clarke

 Surf the Internet:
  • rhymes
  • rhyming
  • nursery rhymes
  • grandparents
  • April Fool’s Day
  • U.S states
  • world countries

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