GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 30

legacy

Four places to jump-start storytelling
* In the car (Especially if both listener and
speaker are in the front seat.)
"Side-by-side sitting normalizes and democratizes the roles in the story telling," my son
says. It conveys the idea "we are both in
this journey together with no active power
differential."
Plus you get the added benefit of helping
out your grandchild's parents (aka your adult
children), by offering to help drive to or from
practice or other events. Sometimes it's the
"in between times," not the big events, where
connection can happen.
* Take a walk
Taking a walk together is another
way to plan for some "side-by-side"
time. It allows a grandchild to avoid
direct eye contact, which my son
says can be "misconstrued as a
threat (more likely with boys) or a
criticism (more likely with girls.)"
* At a restaurant or the kitchen table
If you get a chance to share a meal or a
beverage together, sit kitty-corner rather
than across from each other. Do it even if that
means forgoing the booth in favor of a table.
Strategically, that allows for selective use of
direct eye contact. Plus "food is nurturing and
encourages intimate conversation," Michael
adds.
30 GRAND

MAY JUNE 2019

* Doing chores together
Think of things like washing the car, cooking, or
grocery shopping together. The car washing can
inspire fun play; cooking has the reward of sharing something delicious when it's ready. Grocery
shopping allows for car time (see #1) on the way
to and from the store. Plus it's a fun way to see
what your grandchild likes these days.
Say "Tell me a story about..."
No matter where you are, forego the traditional "how are you?" or "how was school?"
And never ask "what did you learn in school
today? These questions most often elicit a
one word response. Try "tell me a story about
school today."
What works for you? Where do you have
your best conversations with your grandchild? Let us know here.

Jerry Witkovsky, Author of The Grandest
Love and a long-time social work
professional, grandparenting activist,
and passionate grandpa, author Jerry
Witkovsky offers fresh approaches
to help grandparents enter their
grandchild's world, to leave values, not
just valuables and create a living legacy. Jerry shares more
about the Grandparent-Grandchild Connection School
Program and encourages grandparents to unleash their
creativity and unique gifts to transform their family at www.
grandparentsunleashed.com.


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GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019

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