August GRG Connections
Issue 2 Volume 2
THE GRANDPARENT/PARENT FLIP FLOP
From MAR, a West Palm Beach Grandmother
The big flip flop, not the one Hypocrites made, no; the big flip flop I am talking about is the one that happens in a split second. First, you are the grandparent, then the parent, and then back to the grandparent. One needs a score card to keep track of which one you are. Your grandchild loves and wants you to be a grandparent. Life demands you become and act as the parent as the situation deems necessary.
To your grandchildren, you appear to be inconsistent from day to day, depending on what the next question or situation is. If good parenting is anything it is consistency, which seems rigid and cold to your grandchild. Grandparents have the luxury of being anything they want, all warm and fuzzy, which confuses the child who probably had no consistency in their life before they moved in with their grandparents. The structure you provide will feel like jail to them at first (daily bathing, brushing teeth, and homework). Traditions are strange to them (blessing before meals, eating together and bed times). They want warm and fuzzy back.
Make sure you make warm and fuzzy time on a regular basis and make sure you let them know, if you didn’t love them as much as you do, you wouldn’t be able to be both parent and grandparent. That makes all the difference.
It takes time, but eventually my own granddaughter sat on the couch with me and said, when she grows up, she will want to live just like we do.
After three years and many tears, I know I made a difference, and I can flip flop faster than you can time it.
We have a daughter who at 15 had a drug problem and went to treatment. At 20 she had 5 years of recovery and then relapsed on and off for the next 33 years with all addictions even gambling. 2 1/2 years ago after seeing what was going on for a few years, we finally took her son (our grandson) to live with us.
He was 12 and had arthritis. Most days he could not even go on the bus to school and was taking 2 shots of Humira a week. Last May the doctor said let’s take him off of the Humira and see what happens. He has been fine. He is off the drug and runs around and does everything from roller blading to swimming to skate boarding to surfing in the ocean and all with no pain. It’s unreal what he can do. The doctor said some of it was the stress he was living under before he came to live with us.
When he came to us he was a student who we were told from his old school “that he could do much better.” Today he is that student who is doing much better. He is a loving, wonderful and grateful young man and so are we since we took him to live with us and see how he is changing and growing.
Maybe we should have taken him to live with us sooner, but we felt, “how can you take him away from his mother.” In August he is going to start high school and is so excited! In the end, it is a gift from God to have him living with us today!
I Remember My Grandmother!
From Mae Lawrence, Belle Glade Grandmother
My mother gave birth to me at the age of 17. In 1942 we came to Florida and moved in with my mother’s mom. Until the age of 6, my mother started going from place to place to do farm work and I stayed on with my grandmother in Bean City, Florida. And then she would go to Belle Glade and grade beans.
When our stove got old she bought a new stove from Mr. Roman’s furniture store. The stove came in a big cardboard box. I would get inside the box and hide from my grandmom. She would call for me and I would jump out of the box and that made her angry. I guess I frightened her. She would throw something at me and I would start to run and laugh at the same time. I knew she loved me so I didn’t have any problem living with her. She had 5 or more Bibles, and I would get one of them every night and read until I fell asleep.
Also she would keep the neighborhood children while their parents would go to work. She would have a baby on each hip and sing to them. At the age of 73 my grandmother passed away.
Thank You for Christmas in July!
From Sue Bartolomeo, Program Coordinator
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Reverend Dr. M. Randall Gill, the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church in Boynton Beach and The Giving Tree.
On July 27th at their Christmas in July Dinner, they very generously collected and donated back packs and school supplies for the grandparents participating in our program.
These items will be distributed this month to the grandparents who requested school supplies for their grandchildren.