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EP – 45 The examples we set

My conversation with Frank Pomata

In this conversation, Frank Pomata, aka Baba, sits down with us and talks about the impact and relationship with his grandfathers. We first learn about Carl (Carmello) and Anthony (Grandpa Tony) and what these two very different people did with Frank growing up in Brooklyn, NY. Frank had the interesting experience of living upstairs from his Grandpa Carl.

With Grandpa Carl, Frank became his driving buddy and was exposed early on to what goes on in an office environment. Frank learned some of the basics of being in an office in this environment, such as answering a phone and taking messages properly. Frank also learned some of the basics of making an office environment work.

With Grandpa Tony, Frank learned that there was a large world outside of New York through reading Grandpa Tony’s National Geographic magazines. Grandpa Tony eventually gifted Frank his own subscription and cultivated an appreciation for learning that Frank still enjoys to this day. We get to hear some great stories about Grandpa Tony, including how he loved the music of Pete Fountain.

Frank also talks about his relationship with his grandson (8 years old) and the bond that they have developed over the years. We learn how Frank is intentionally working on taking an interest in his grandson by getting down on the floor and playing with him and even finding that his grandson is igniting a former passion of Franks; collecting Hot Wheels cars.

We talk about Frank’s attitudes about how grandfathers today can change and be more engaged with their grandchildren and family. At the end of our conversation, we talk about Frank’s article (a link is below) and how grandfathers can support their grandchildren and that nurturing is not the sole province of the grandmothers.

Once you have listened to this amazing episode, remember to subscribe and share this podcast with a friend.

Links

Click HERE for Frank’s LinkedIn Profile

Frank’s article: Some Thoughts on the Value of Grandfathers

Affiliate Links

Readeo

Adulting 101

EP – 49 Service and Legacy

Our conversation with Sylvia Liu

Sylvia Liu, never met her grandfathers but they have had played an important role in the history of China, and most importantly, they have played a significant role in Syliva’s life through their example and influence on her mother and father. Sylvia sits down with us to discuss her grandfathers, her life as an environmental lawyer, and now as a children and young adult author.

Sylvia’s maternal grandfather was Lieutenant General Fan Hanjie. Lt. General Fan Hanjie was one of General Chiang Kai-shek’s generals and a member of the Nationist Chinese Government. As one of the key military leaders of China, Lt. General Fan Hanjie was awarded the U.S. Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm, which is the highest award that the U.S. presents to citizens and non-citizens who aided in the war effort.

Liu Yiguang, Sylvia’s grandfather on her father’s side of the family, was a Commander of Intelligence in Chiang Kai-Shek’s army. Liu Yiguang was responsible for the security and house arrest of Zhang Xueliang who was a general that kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek and forced him to sign an agreement with the Communist to halt the civil war and work together to fight the Japanese. Liu Yiguang would guard Zhang Xueliang for more than 25 years both in China and in Taiwan.

Me and Sylvia also dive into her background and upbringing including growing up in Caracas Venezuela before migrating to the United States. We discuss her professional life as an environmental lawyer for the U.S. Government and with several non-profit organizations. We also discuss her transition to being a child and young adult author with a new book, Manatee’s Best Friend, now available.

Links

Sylvia Liu’s Home Page

Sylvia’s blog about her grandfather Lt. General Fan Hanjie (Fan Hanjie (范漢傑) (1894-1976))

Sylvia’s book page (MANATEE’S BEST FRIEND, A MORNING WITH GRANDPA, etc.)

Affiliate Links

Readeo

Adulting 101

EP – 48 Growing Creativity with Grandchildren

Our conversation with Dan Miller

Dan Miller joins us for a fantastic conversation about how to help our grandchildren to think creatively about education, work, and life. Learn about about Dan’s experience and expectations when he learned that he would become a grandfather. Dan was excited and viewed the grandchildren as an extension of the fun and exciting times he and his wife, Joanne, had with their children.

Our discussion then focused on helping his grandchildren learn to hold on to their creativity and passions from childhood to adulthood. We discuss how they use the game CASH FLOW as one of the fun activities that he and Joanne use to help the grandchildren think about how to create wealth.

We also talk about the use of mentors when modeling roles such as being a husband, father, and grandfather. There are many resources available to learn these roles that we take on. Dan and I also talk about how grandfathers or men of the same age group can help reframe experiences that our grandchildren and other youth have. We can help them to think differently about opportunities and find ways to find work that is meaningful, purposeful, AND profitable for them.

Dan talks to us about connecting with the grandchildren on their level and with their interests. By meeting the grandchildren where they are, we help them grow in the way they are ‘bent’ or created and not how their parents or we want them to be. By joining our grandchildren in activities that they enjoy, we as grandparents can learn from our grandchildren.

Be sure to check out the links below for resources that can help you be a Cool Grandpa AND help your grandchildren think creatively about life and work.

Links

48days.com

Dan’s about page

48 Days Eagles Community

The five books that Dan recommends his grandchildren read by the time they are 13 years old:

Acres of Diamonds

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Think and Grow Rich

See You at the Top

The Magic of Thinking Big

Dan’s Books:

48 DAYS TO THE WORK (AND LIFE) YOU LOVE

NO MORE DREADED MONDAYS

RUDDER OF THE DAY – One of my favorites

CLICK HERE to learn about the Game Cashflow that Dan mentioned on the show. This is a game developed by RICH DAD.

Affiliate Links

Readeo

Adulting 101

EP – 47 The Long Distance Grandparent

My conversation with Kerry Byrne

Kerry Byrne, Ph.D., joins us for our conversation today. Kerry has studied aging and care for 25 years. She is the Founder of The Long Distance Grandparent, a mission-driven business helping grandparents build strong bonds with their grandchildren from a distance.

As a mom to 2, with grandparents living at a distance, she believes children need their grandparents, now more than ever – no matter the distance between.

We have a blast discussing the idea that in today’s world, moms and dads are not meant to parent alone, and hats off to those who have to. This world is more complicated and travels faster, making protecting, educating, and loving the little ones more of a challenge.

Kerry and I talk about her time in Dubai and Houston, TX, and how it inspired her to interview other long-distance grandparents to figure out how they were staying in touch with their grandchildren. During our conversation, we talk about the 5 P’s of Kerry’s Grand Path; those P’s are:

Plan – Ensuring we are mindful and intentional about grandparenting.

Partner – Nurturing partnerships with parents, cousins, and others.

Prepare – Preparing for moments shared to make the best of every interaction.

Play – Playing and being playful about our connections.

Preserve – Capturing the moments we share with our grandchildren.

Regardless if you are a Long-Distance Grandparent or not, I strongly encourage you to check out Kerry’s blog, website, and Long Distance Grandparent Society. These sources contain great ideas about activities and tools that you can use to strengthen your relationships.

Links

The Long Distance Grandparent – Website

The Long Distance Grandparent Society – email sign up and information

Kerry’s email address: kerry@thelongdistancegrandparent.com

Affiliate Links

Readeo

Adulting 101

EP – 46 Be careful with Labels

Our Monthly One on One

Dear Mr. Venon. We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us: in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basketcase…a princess…and a criminal.

– Closing monologue, The Breakfast Club (1985)

I love this movie. You can tell that I am a member of Gen X. One of the reasons I enjoy this movie is the lesson of how labels, while sometimes useful, can place people in boxes that is hard for them to get out of. At least in our perceptions of who we think they are.

In this one-on-one conversation, I talk about how grandfathers should avoid using labels when it comes to thinking and talking about their grandchildren. While labels can quickly convey a lot of information in a few words, it limits the person to that one label in our own thoughts.

Talking about or describing attributes within a context or setting is a much better way to think or talk about our grandchildren. Where labels can carry a fixed meaning, discussing attributes lets us talk and think about the parts of the personality or skills that the grandchild has compared to just thinking of them in one term.

Thinking and speaking about our grandchildren’s attributes allow them to grow and develop in our minds and does not keep them locked in as only one personality type or on a set of physical attributes.

While labels themselves are not good or bad, I would like to challenge the grandfathers and grandparents to be careful and avoid using labels and shift to thinking about and discussing the attributes that we want to praise or brag on. By shifting to calling out the attributes to describe our grandchildren, we allow them to evolve, grown, explore, and not stay fixed. After all, these precious little gifts are constantly changing and challenging themselves and their environments.

Affiliate Links

Readeo

Adulting 101

EP – 44 The Addicted Child

My conversation with Rick Capriola

In this important conversation, we sit down with Richard, “Rick,” Capriola to discuss the important topic of adolescent addition. We dive into what addiction means, including the different substances and how they affect the brain differently. Rick and I also talk about how Grandfathers can play an important role in the identification, treatment, and recovery process of a grandchild suffering from substance dependence.

Rick Capriola spent 11 years working as an addictions counselor for Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas, before retiring in 2019. Menninger Clinic is one of the top ten psychiatric hospitals in the United States and specializes in assessing, stabilizing, and treating adults and adolescents with substance abuse and psychiatric disorders.

During Rick’s tenure at the Menninger Clinic, he worked in the Adolescent Treatment program and the adult Comprehensive Psychiatric Assessment and Stabilization program. Working closely with psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and nurses, he was responsible for comprehensive assessments and individual and group counseling with patients diagnosed with substance use disorders.

One of the big takeaways from the conversation is the response to the science of what the different drugs and substances do to the brain that impacted the youth that Rick worked with. It was amazing that the reasons for stopping activities had more to do with the science and the behavior outcomes than just about anything else. What was your big takeaway from this important conversation? Be sure to leave a comment or even a question for Rick in the Comments section below.

Remember to subscribe to The Cool Grandpa Podcast if you haven’t already and share this podcast with a friend.

Links

Click HERE to be directed to Rick’s website.

Click HERE to be taken to Amazon to purchase The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse.

Click HERE to be taken to Rick’s workbook, The Addicted Child: Workbook

Sponsor Links

Readeo

Adulting 101 – be sure to use the code: coolgrandpa at check out to receive 30% off your purchase price.

EP – 43 Readeo

My conversation with Aaron Neuenschwander

Please pull up a chair and join Aaron and me for an interesting conversation about a company he started almost ten years ago but is really catching fire today. Aaron and his brother Cody started Readeo to help connect Aaron and Cody’s parents to Cody’s children once Cody moved to Chicago.

Readeo holds several patents on the combination of video conferencing and digital children’s books. The unique way these technologies are combined gives the users an interactive platform to share stories, conversations and strengthen bonds between children and adults.

This is an engaging conversation about how purpose and opportunity have come together to create a product that not only entertains children but also enables long-distance relationships to flourish. It isn’t every day that we come across products and services that multiple generations can use AND are easy to use.

Based on the ease of use of Readeo, the quality of the individuals running the business, and the enjoyment my grandson gets out of our reading together. I am proud to become an affiliate of Readeo. To learn more about Readeo and to start your free trial, click HERE. To make it easy for you, there is an ‘Affiliate‘ menu option on the top of my webpage, where you can also access the link to Readeo.

Links

Readeo

EP – 42 Four activities that do not require a device or application

A conversation with just you and me

This conversation is just with you and me. I share four different activities you can do with your grandchild or anyone, that do not require a smart device or application. These are fun and, most importantly, engaging activities that you can do today.

Collecting

Collecting is a great way to discover what your grandchild is interested in. The grandchildren will naturally want more of whatever they are interested in. It could be toys, pictures, objects, just about anything. The important thing with sharing a collection is the conversation that it can generate. If the grandchild is into sports, there is a natural conversation that can be had about the sports heroes of the grandchild’s generation and the sports heroes of your generation. Whatever your grandchild is into, do a little research and find those interesting points to comparing and contrasting.

Many areas of interest lend themselves to collecting. I mention in the conversation that stamps and coins are likely on the way out with advancing digital society. These two items, in particular, could be areas whereas a grandfather who grew up with coins, stamps, and paper money can introduce an interesting and fading hobby.

Map and Compass

Learning to use a map and compass is not only something that can be fun, and it is a practical skill that every grandchild should know how to do. Teaching a grandchild how to orient a paper map with a compass to find the North will open up how their world is organized. Once a child learns that the North does not always equal ‘up’ or in front of them, their world becomes a little more complex. It also gives the grandchild a way of mastering or understanding their world.

Start easy with your grandchildren, find a map of your local area. I bet you can download or print off a map of your park, for starters. Show them how to orient the map and then create a simple map course that goes to recognizable features. Put a treasure or a reward at the end of the course, remember this should be a fun activity for them. After a few map and compass activities, invite the grandchild to create a course for you to follow. You will have taught them how to find their way if they are lost with a map and compass, giving them confidence and a valuable skill to help them in various situations as they grow up.

Cooking

Cooking is like doing a science experiment that you can eat. Teaching kids to cook can be rewarding and a great way to connect with them. Cooking will lead to conversations about the origins of certain foods and meals, and you can also talk about what the grandchild’s favorite dishes are.

Like all of our activities, it is best to start small and build on successes. Most children are going to want to help and be involved in the creation that they make. Don’t forget that most children will want to show off their creations, so help them learn how to display their cookies or hotdogs. Cooking with grandchildren is a great way to work on math and science. Cooking involves fractions, following instructions, and chemistry. These are great ways to ‘teach’ without the formality of a workbook or chemistry paper. Don’t worry if you are not up to date on all the science of cooking. You and the grandchild can always explore those processes together using different books and websites. The key takeaway here is that cooking is fun, transfers family history, and can be a learning experience rolled up into one activity.

Reading

I am not talking about reading a book to your grandchild, although that is an important and bonding activity. No, I am talking about you and your grandchild(ren) alternate books to read. Think of this as a private book club. You can begin once your grandchild is old enough to read chapter books on their own. Start by asking the grandchild to pick a book, then you both read it by a determined date. For our purposes, let us say one month. During the month, of course, you can discuss the book but pick a date to either in person or remotely plan to discuss the book that they have chosen.

By allowing the grandson or granddaughter to pick out a book, you find out what their interests are. Will they pick out Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical drama? Who knows, but the point is that they are opening up their world of interests and ideas to you, and they are building a connection to you compared to you building that connection. Ideally, you can alternate who picks the books to have the option to stay in the same genre or help broaden their worldview by picking something age and ability appropriate that you enjoy.

Take away

No matter what activity you choose from the list above, YOU will create meaningful and lasting memories with your grandchildren. Each of these activities is a fun way to connect AND either teach your grandchildren new skills or re-enforce what they are learning without using devices or software applications. Instead of complaining about the grandchildren being consumed by the devices, let’s get better at being intentional about showing them how great and fun the world can be without electronics.

Have you done all four activities above? Download the document below for additional device-free activities. Have you found activities that your grandkids will leave the phone behind to do? Leave me a comment below about what activities you do with your grandchildren that do not require devices or software applications.

EP – 41 The Grand Project

My conversation with Kitty Janvirn

Kitty Janvirn is a young woman who took a school assignment, had a passion for history, and created a podcast to capture the story of her grandparents and other grandparents. In our conversation, we learn about her mother’s father, Paul Own who to Kitty, her brothers, and her cousins is simply known as Doc. We learn that Doc was the town Pharmacist and also enjoyed getting down on his hands and knees when the grandkids were over to play ‘Monster’ and chase them all about the house. (No doubt to grandma and mom’s chagrin when they were trying to get the kids to go to bed.)

Kitty also shares tender stories about her father’s dad, Bob Janvirn. Bob is known to his grandchildren as Grandpa. We discuss how Kitty is being intentional with connecting and communicating with her Grandpa. We learn that Grandpa and that relationship has been very consistent over the years and how he enjoys working on technical and mechanical projects.

We get into the background of how and why Kitty started her project, The Grand Project. What is great about Kitty’s project is that she is not just collecting her family’s history but reaching out to other older people to gather their fascinating stories including the story of the first woman to play Little League Baseball.

Be sure to check out the links to Kitty’s projects below. Reach to her and let her know how much you enjoyed this conversation.

If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast, please subscribe and then share it with a friend.

Links

The Grand Project – Kitty’s website

The Grand Project – Kitty’s Instagram site

grandprojectpod@gmail.com – Kitty’s email. Reach out and say hello.

EP – 40 Good Grandpa

My conversation with Ted Page

Ted Page was tired of the negative messaging about grandpas in popular media when he learned that he was going to become a grandpa. Instead of just complaining about that negative messaging, Ted decided to launch a blog about the positive aspects of being a grandpa and so, Good Grandpa was born.

We sit down for a unique show where Ted and I interview each other about how our lives changed when we found out we were going to become grandfathers. We both have similar journeys with different methods of delivering our messages of the positive impact that grandfathers have in the lives of grandchildren and their families. Ted, writes about his experiences and his views about being a grandfather and I use a podcast platform to create audio content about the value of grandfathers.

During our discussion, Ted shares many impactful and entertaining insights into his role and experience with being a grandfather. One of the biggest takeaways for me was the conversation we had about raising grandchildren to have the courage and strength to express that they respectfully disagree with someone else’s position or opinion. We use the fun example of how great it is when Red Sox and Yankee fans can sit down and have a respectful conversation about baseball and their teams even though you would be hard-pressed to find two groups that “hate” each other. (Although the Dodgers are really the best team) While we use sports as our example, it is important to teach our grandchildren and our families how to get along even when we disagree with one another.

Once you listen to this conversation, come back and leave me a comment or shoot me an email at greg@cool-grandpa.com and let me know what your big takeaway was from this episode.

Links

Click HERE for the Good Grandpa Blog

Click HERE for Ted’s LinkedIn profile

Click HERE for Good Grandpa Blog on Instagram