EP – 86 Where Two Worlds Meet

Our conversation with Jerry Witkovsky and Deanna Shoss

This week we are joined by two passionate individuals whose goal is to build bridges of understanding and communication between Grandparents and Grandchildren. Jerry Witkovsky and Deanna Shoss join us to discuss their new book, Where Two Worlds Meet.

Jerry joins our conversation as a leader in developing organizations and programs that impact the lives of his community. Since his 1997 retirement, Jerry has focused his considerable energies on grandparenting facilitation—helping multigenerational families work (and play) together to create a rich family life. He has partnered with JCC and YMCA to create a writing prompt program serving over four hundred grandparents on three continents and a virtual improv program with UK’s Nursery Theatre. He currently spearheads many school-based programs designed to strengthen connections between grandparents and their teenagers.

Deanna Shoss is a marketer, writer, and interculturalist based in Chicago. As Founder and CEO of Intercultural Talk, Inc., Deanna inspires people to learn, create, and contribute across their lifespans. She takes an intergenerational approach that combines online communication platforms such as websites/blogs, social media, and video with tried and true practices such as partnership building, email marketing, and in-person events. Deanna writes for the National Diversity Council and is the Tech Columnist for Grand Magazine. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and French and is a certified group fitness instructor. Learn more at interculturaltalk.com.

In our conversation, we discussed what motivated Jerry to write his book and how he and Deanna became connected and are working hard to deliver this timely message of getting grandparents engaged with their grandchildren. We also discuss how grandparents can be a part of the solution in helping grandchildren through complex mental and emotional issues.

Where Two Worlds Meet is an enjoyable read full of fantastic tips and examples that will help you become more intentional and involved with your grandchildren, please follow the links above and below to learn more about the work that Jerry and Deanna are doing and to order your copy of Where Two Worlds Meet.

If you know someone who would enjoy hearing this conversation, please forward this podcast episode to them. Sharing episodes like this one is the best way to help others learn about Grandfathers’ critical role in their families lives. Please remember to ‘like’ and subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t done so already.

Links

Click HERE to go to the website for Where Two Worlds Meet

Click HERE to read the article, Why American Teens Are So Sad

Click HERE to visit Deanna’s company Intercultural Talk

Click on this link to learn more about Peekabond.

Click on this link to learn and sign up for Readeo.

EP – 84 Priming the Pump

Our monthly one on one conversation

“Welcome back, my friends to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend! Come inside! come inside!” – Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

I am happy to have a moment with you. I enjoy these one-on-one conversations, and I hope you find them valuable for your grandparenting journey.

This month, I want to discuss steps you can take to ‘prime the pump’ or, in other words, plan your next visit with your children and grandchildren. Some people will tell you that the only actual planning you should do on your stays (assuming you live out of town) is when you arrive and depart. They will say that should be enough planning and that the trip should be an organic experience.

I say that not having a plan is a recipe for miscommunication and missed opportunities for your adult children, grandchildren, and YOU.

I am not saying that you have to have every minute of your visit planned but what I am saying is that you need to have some plans for your trip, AND you need to build up some anticipation about your stay with the grandchildren.

Put yourself back into your early parenting days for a minute. How would you have liked to have your parents or in-laws show up at the house for a few days, a week, a month with no idea what they wanted to do or not do? Think about the level of stress that would manifest itself with so many unknowns. Do the grandparents want to have a big dinner at some point? Do they want to take the grandkids to the park or zoo? What days is all this going to happen? What about play dates? Times that I was going to work on the car? Painters coming to the house? There are a lot of unknown questions here AND a lot of potential stress.

Grandpa’s, we need to help make sure that our time with our children and grandchildren is as stress-free as possible so that EVERYONE can enjoy the time together.

Here are a few tips that I do and that I have found to help set expectations and reduce stress for those days when my wife and I visit our children and grandchildren.

Start communicating early and often about the expected arrival and departure dates until your travel dates are 100% locked in.

– If you are planning Grandpa/ grandchild activities that are more than an hour, start talking about the dates and times of those activities as early as possible. The parents and grandchildren have schedules that they will need to adjust for your fun activities.

– Ask the parents what activities they think the grandchildren would like. Children’s tastes, activity levels, and interests might have changed since your last visit.

– Use text messages or emails to write down the loose itinerary for everyone. Talking about the calendar AND seeing the calendar may trigger forgotten activities that the kids or grandkids had planned. “Measure twice cut once”

– Leave some blank or ‘zero days.’ Everyone needs some flexibility for last-minute plans and some “grandpa is pooped out” time. 🙂

– Start priming the pump with the grandkids early. This activity is age-dependent, but 30 days out is a good rule of thumb.

– Send video messages about the visit talking about the fun you will have with the grandchildren.

– Use snail mail to shoot a postcard talking about a fun activity. Maybe print out and send tickets to the Zoo, Waterpark, or something else that requires tickets or a pass with older kids.

Your list and planning activities may vary from mine, which is okay. The important thing is to recognize that some pre-planning and a lot of communication will reduce the natural stress that a visit from grandpa and grandma can produce. After all, we want every visit to be memorable for the good times and feelings and not hurt feelings or misunderstandings that can happen when we visit our children and grandchildren.

Be sure to like and subscribe to the podcast if you have not done so already. Also, please share this episode and podcast with a friend. Sharing is the best way to spread the information people need to grow and maintain relationships with their family and friends.

Click on this link to learn more about Peekabond.

Click on this link to learn and sign up for Readeo.

EP – 78 Older Men’s Mental Health

Our conversation with Dr. Rob Whitley

Dr. Rob Whitley, Ph.D., discusses older men’s mental health issues. Rob Whitley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, and a Research Scientist at the Douglas Research Centre. He is currently a Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé Senior Research Scholar and an Honorary Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne. 

Rob and I discuss the different mental health challenges that older men can face in this conversation. We discuss several causes of mental health issues, such as the pain and breakdown of our bodies. Rob points out that as men age, we can lose our connections to friends, family, and other social points of connections like church and work.

Mental health is a broad phrase that can include many different types of behaviors. Much of the focus of the conversation is on depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. Many men often have an internal stigma about seeking help for mental health issues. Some internal stigmas center around the fear of loss of promotion or responsibilities at work. The stigmas can also manifest in the self-talk that older men internalize, such as, “I should be able to deal with this” or “I am weak if I need to reach out for help.”

As part of our discussion around how men need to feel comfortable discussing their challenges, Rob and I talk about the movement of Men’s Sheds. (See the link below) With Men’s Sheds, older men have a place to go to practice skills like wood or metal working along with building vital connections with other men. Rob also discusses how therapy offices and sessions are changing to meet men’s needs and operate more closely with how men communicate and interact.

After listening to this episode, be sure to like and subscribe to the podcast. The most important all is to share this conversation with anyone you know who is maybe struggling or is connected to someone who is struggling with any of the mental health topics discussed in this podcast.

Links

Click HERE to view Dr. Rob Whitley’s McGill University profile

Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Rob Whitley’s book, “Men’s Issues and Men’s Mental Health

Click HERE to read Dr. Rob Whitley’s latest article, “How to Talk With a Man About His Mental Health.”

Click HERE to discover Dr. Rob Whitley’s YouTube Channel, “Recovery Mental Health.”

Click HERE to view Dr. Rob Whitley’s articles published in Psychology Today.

Click HERE to learn more about Erik Erikson’s term Generativity. There is a lot of information about Erikson and Generativity.

Click HERE to read Robert D. Putnam’s article, “Bowling Alone,” published in 1995.

Click HERE to read about Emile Durkheim’s theory and types of suicide

Click HERE to learn more about the U.S. Men’s Shed Association

Peekabond

Readeo

EP – 76 Being a Cheerleader

Our One on One

This episode is a chance for you and me to catch up. It has been a month or so since we last spoke. In this conversation, I talk about the critical role of being a grandfather who is a cheerleader for their grandchild.

I review the different ages of development and the various ways that grandfathers can be intentional about encouraging and cheering on grandchildren. Grandchildren at different ages need different types of encouragement.

As former guest Richard Eyre says, “Kids thrive, flourish, and blossom in the light of the thoughtful, specific, sincere compliments, particularly from grandfathers!” I couldn’t agree more. Grandfathers add that extra spark to a grandchild’s life when given a compliment and encouragement to do well at tasks they attempt.

I believe, like so many of our guests and experts, that grandfathers can act a bit like a seawall where our actions and words can break up some of the negativity that comes at our grandchildren. How a grandfather encourages and cheers on their grandchildren must evolve to meet the grandchildren’s needs. Our cheerleading must also be honest and provide truthful feedback. As the grandchildren grow, they are looking for mentors, like grandfathers, to encourage them and help them improve.

How are you a cheerleader for your grandchildren? How are you showing them that you are 100% on their side? Leave me a comment below and share your experience with being a cheerleader.

Links

Click HERE to enjoy our conversation with Richard Eyre

Click HERE to enjoy our conversation with Frank Sinclair

Peekabond

Readeo

EP – 74 Career Meets Purpose

Our conversation with Greg Vance

Greg Vance joins us again to discuss job hunting, career management, and finding work that has purpose and meaning in our middle to later years.

Greg is a successful and sought-after coach who has been where many of us are currently. He has been in a position that paid well but was uninspiring. After working with renowned (and former guest of the show) career coach, Dan Miller, Greg set out to help other people find profoundly satisfying work. You know, the kind of work where you can’t wait for Monday to come around so that you can take your strengths and dive into purposeful work.

You will be sure to enjoy this conversation and learn a lot from Greg’s experience. Also, think about a friend who could use a bit of encouragement and valuable information about finding work and share this valuable resource.

After listening to this show, be sure to like and subscribe to the podcast.

Links

Greg’s Links

Click HERE to connect with Greg on LinkedIn

Click HERE to connect and follow Greg on Facebook

Click HERE to view Greg’s coaching website

Click HERE to listen to Greg’s other episode where we discuss his experience with being a grandfather.

Click HERE to listen to our good friend Dave Wadsworth’s Cool Grandpa episode.

Click HERE to check out the 48 Days community that Greg and I belong to.

MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses)

Click HERE for a good article about MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses). This is an older but still relevant article.

Click HERE for a newer list with similar names.

Click HERE to access Courrsera, a very popular MOOC

Click HERE to access Udemy. There are many paid AND free courses on this site.

Click HERE to access DataCamp. DataCamp is supper popular for data training. Some of the largest IT companies use DataCamp.

BOOKS

Click HERE to check out Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance.

Click HERE to order the book: 48 Days; To the Work You Love

Readeo

EP – 53 More than Grand

Our conversation with Dee Dee Moore

This week, we talk with DeeDee Moore. DeeDee was in a similar spot as I was when she found out that she was going to be a grandmother. That spot was that This week, we talked with DeeDee Moore. DeeDee was in a similar spot as I was when she found out that she would be a grandmother. That spot was that there were some articles, podcasts, and magazines, but nothing designed to help grandmas or grandpas understand their new roles.

Taking what she had experienced as a mom, elementary school office lady, and years as a communications consultant Dee Dee started More Than Grand. More Than Grand is dedicated to letting parents know how important the role of being a grandparent is in the lives of the grandchildren and grown children.

You are sure to enjoy this conversation, so lace up those shoes if you are going for a walk or pull up a chair if you are taking a break from your busy day and join DeeDee and me for a fun discussion.

After you listen to this conversation, be sure to share it with a friend.

Links

More Than Grand – DeeDee’s website and community

New Grandparent Essentials – One of the resources that DeeDee talked about

About DeeDee – The about page for More Than Grand and DeeDee

Affiliate Links

Readeo

Adulting 101

EP – 19 A grandpa’s example leads to the building of a strong work ethic

Conversation with Jon Sanders

In this conversation with podcaster, firefighter, and former minister Jon Sanders you will learn first hand the effect a grandpa’s example can have on a grandson.

Jon shares with us how his grandpa’s example affected his life and what valuable lessons he learned simply by watching his grandfather. Jon was fortunate to know his grandfather for the first 37 years of Jon’s life.

We hear how Jon and his grandfather built a relationship through intentional communication, a love for the outdoors, and working side by side on many projects. 

With our conversation, we get to hear a great story of how Jon used to call up his grandfather and jokingly make plans to chase girls in Hawaii and get into trouble with his beloved grandfather. 

Jon also shares with us the powerful influence his grandfather had on him when he was able to help Jon learn many life lessons. One such powerful lesson was when his grandfather loaned him money to buy his first car. Jon’s grandfather didn’t just turn around and forgive the load but held Jon accountable for paying back every dollar. At a young age, this lesson helped to enforce the value of money, that debt is real, and that a debt MUST be repaid. 

Do yourself a favor, grab your favorite beverage, and join us as we honor another Cool Grandpa.

After listening to this podcast, be sure to share your favorite take away from our conversation with Jon. I look forward to reading your comments.

Click HERE to find Jon on Facebook

Jon’s personal website is jonsanders.org and below are Jon’s podcasts

https://thefireinsidepodcast.com/