Pam Siegel and Leslie Zinberg encourage readers ─ grandparents ─ to slow down and learn how to communicate deeply with their grandchildren by teaching mindfulness. I embrace this philosophy because I am a “let’s enjoy the journey” kind of person. Some of my favorite memories are of sailing along the Chesapeake Bay. Whether the destination was Onancock on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Solomons Island in Southern Maryland, or St. Michael’s on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, it was secondary to the journey itself. Feeling the spray of the water and seeing the wind fill the sails were the exhilarating features of the adventure. Arriving at the destination was a time to renew the body with food, beverage and sleep; relive unfurling the jib or spinnaker by talking about the day’s sail; and rejoice about nature’s beauty and arriving safely.
Grandparenting: Renew, Relive, Rejoice provides grandparents with a blueprint to begin the intergenerational mindfulness journey. The authors explain the nine core principles and weave 52 stories (contributed by their friends) around those basics. They link specific activities, including savoring snacks, listening to their bodies as relaxation, playing the mystery scent game, to each of the stories to help grandparents and grandchildren reap the benefits of an “enjoy-the-journey” lifestyle. The best part? It costs very little money.
Mindfulness is about values, not things! Another lesson the authors want families to take away is that these activities are not a list of “once-and-done,” but a way of life that will strength generational bonds, in particular, and relationships, in general. Mindfulness ─ slow down and live each day with purpose ─ not only enhances grandchildren’s daily lives, it enhances their academic journeys and becomes another part of a grandparent’s legacy.
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