GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 23

grandparenting
When the reunion was over, they proudly took their
secret rocks and promised to stay in touch with us and
with each other from their respective homes in Boston,
Utah, and Arizona. By Christmas, they each had some
real-life examples to share about each of the secrets.
Time has passed, and there are now ten secrets-
and we're delighted to say that they are becoming little
self-fulfilling prophecies within their lives. They have a
permanence about them now--we have put them on
large river rocks that decorate our kitchen at the lake
house where we hold our annual reunion, and they are
being passed on to younger cousins, with the older
ones acting as tutors. We added one or two new secrets
each summer at our reunion, each time having the same
kind of " what does this mean and how could you apply
it " discussion. Each grandchild " qualified " the first four
secrets when he or she was 10, and additional secrets
were added as they reached the age when we thought
they could understand and apply them. Other rewards
were added-which they qualified for by memorizing
the secret and giving life experiences they had had or
could imagine having when the secret could be applied.
The secrets are not a panacea, but they have helped
on numerous levels, including our own relationship and
relevance with each of our grandchildren.
You, as a one-of-a-kind grandparent with one-ofa-kind grandchildren, will develop your own set of the
things you most want to teach-your own " secrets. " But
for what they are worth as examples, here are a couple
more of ours:
UNIQUENESS: " There is only one of you, and you
have unique gifts and talents that you need to discover.
Be yourself, find your place, and grow into all you can
be. Seek a life of Broadening and Contributing. "
23 GRAND

WINTER 2021

DECISIONS: " In the second seventh of life (from age
12 to 24) come many of life's pivotal decisions, which
will largely determine the happiness of the remaining
five sevenths. Binary, right-wrong choices should be
made in advance, dated, and signed in contract with self.
Open-ended, multi-alternative, confirmation-requiring
decisions should be made tentatively through analysis, advice, and prayer, but not implemented or acted
upon until they are verified by a spiritual process called
'confirmation.' "
As a grandparent, ask yourself this question: If you
had a magic wand and could wave it over your grandchildren and automatically imbue them with certain
truths and guidelines for life, what principles would
you implant in them? What are the things you have
learned and that you wish you had learned earlier?
Here is the sequence we suggest:
* Sit down and think about the principles you want
to teach your grandkids. This is some hard, mental
work, and you won't complete your list in one sitting or
in just a week or two. Think about it for at least a month,
letting your thinking develop and evolve, and when you
are ready, make a list of the principles you most want
your grandkids to know. Try for between five and ten
principles.
* Think about how to state those principles simply
and as " secrets. " Take another month, and gradually
work each of your principles into a clear, terse sentence
or two that a child can memorize and remember.
* Tell your grandchild or grandchildren that you
have some secrets for them and that you will tell
them just one of the secrets each year. Start the secrets
with any grandchild who is eight or older. Make a big
deal out of sharing each secret-do it in a special,

one-on-one setting with the grandchild (or with two or
three if you have some that are roughly the same age).
We don't want our dear and precious grandchildren to have to rediscover the wheel-or to learn hard
lessons only by trial and error or by getting knocked
down and beat up because they didn't know any better.
Making a deliberate effort to teach our grandkids the life
principles we think are most important is both a responsibility and an honor.
Richard and Linda Eyre's parenting and lifebalance books have reached millions and
been translated into a dozen languages. As
fellow Baby Boomers, their
passion and their writing focus
has now shifted to the joy of
Grandparenting. Linda's latest
book is Grandmothering,
Richard's is Being a
Proactive grandfather, and
their latest co-authored
book is Life in Full. All
three of these are now on
sale on Amazon.


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GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021

Contents
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 1
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 2
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 3
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - Contents
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 5
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 6
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 7
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 8
GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 9
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