The Grandparent Connection

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.

                Rachel Carson

The importance of grandparents supporting parents and grandkids has become so apparent during this pandemic.  Because of the interest and enthusiasm of so many grandparents for my book, “Hooray for Parenting” and their eagerness to learn as much as they can about positive ways of interacting with the grandkids, I decided to share their stories from time to time. While many parents aren’t lucky enough to have their own parents play an active part in raising their children, a grandparent connection, whether near or far is significant in helping kids feel anchored to family with rituals, traditions, values that transcend  generations.  Offering support inspiring gratitude, kindness, creativity, curiosity and the love of the arts and nature can be part of the grandparent, grandkid relationship whether over a Zoom call or in person.

Because of her extensive experience as an educator with children and parents she is particularly attuned to the varied ways families relate to grandparents. And at Girard Gourmet parents, grandparents, young and old stop by to pick up their take out and pause to chat (socially distanced). Girard Gourmet is more than an ordinary restaurant.  It is guided by a commitment to community, caring and connecting with people and making a difference by serving wholesome, fresh food.  Diana discusses how she has heard so many stories about family challenges and the lockdown since last March. person.

Diana Goedhuys, a Grandma, the founder and former director of a private elementary school in Houston and now the owner with her husband of Girard Gourmet in La Jolla, California she shares her strong belief in the important role of grandparents in the lives of their children and grandchildren especially during the pandemic.

“Though they are grateful for Zoom and Facetime, one person after another has shared with me how they have not been able to meet with their new grandchildren or see in person those they hoped to watch grow up."

"However, of special interest to me are those stories of grandparents who have become a part of their family’s lives in ways they never expected.  One of my customers has two children with high tech jobs in Northern California.  The couple has two young children who require guidance and supervision during online schooling and afterwards when they are not in school. This particular grandmother left for Northern California in September to provide the much needed help.  As a result, she and her husband only manage to see each other once a month, but both agree how important this has been.  She has been pivotal in supporting the grandkids. She loves her new relationship with them and the family is thriving.

I have another customer and friend who helped her children move their 3 kids from New York City to La Jolla.  While the parents are working on line, she takes the grandkids to school, does amazing art projects with them and keeps them busy while their parents are working.  She basically makes their lives of both the parents and the children work in a new community.

It’s as though both of these grandparents have a new lease on life.  They extended themselves, deepened their relationships and made a huge difference with the kids and grandkids. I love seeing folks come alive in ways they never could have imagined.”

                                                                                            - Diana Goedhuys

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