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 – 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 – 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

EP – 39 A Lieutenant General Becomes a Kid Again with His Grandchildren

My Conversation with Lieutenant General (Retired) Ralph Jodice

Welcome back! In this episode of The Cool Grandpa Podcast, we are privileged to have Retired Lieutenant General Ralph J. Jodice II join us and talk about his experience with being a grandfather. Ralph is the father of one of our past guests, Brian Jodice (A link to Brian’s conversation is down below). As you will learn, Ralph is a heck of a guy and another good example of someone who is “doing it right.”

If you thought that Generals could not get down and play with children and become children again through their interactions with their grandchildren, you would be mistaken. As you will find out in this engaging conversation, nothing makes Ralph happier than sitting down and having high tea with one of his granddaughters or playing Legos with one of his grandsons.

As you will learn, Ralph comes from a very close family that he has intentionally passed on to his children and grandchildren. Although Ralph and his wife (affectionately known as Nonna by the grandchildren) may not live close to their children and grandchildren when needed, they deploy to wherever they are needed. Grandpa takes on logistics and supply duties while Nonna takes command of the kitchen. By being intentional with the time they spend, the grandparents and grandchildren build lasting relationships that are part of a long Jodice tradition.

Ralph also shares with us the story of how while serving his country and NATO in Izmir, Turkey, he was able to balance out the news and excitement of his first granddaughter being born. We learn from Ralph that the priorities of Faith, Family, Service can sometimes become out of wack during deployments and the call of duty but that it is important to restore that balance as soon as possible.

There are heartwarming stories and lessons shared in this conversation with Ralph that we can all learn from. My biggest takeaway is the importance of the dining room table. As Ralph talks about, that is where the family laughs, loves, cry, and learns. After you listen to this conversation, be sure to leave your big takeaway in the comments below.

Links:

Lieutenant General Ralph J. Jodice II biography

Brian’s conversation about his grandfathers

EP – 35 A Case of Blue and the impact of a grandfather on a filmmaker

My conversation with Dana Glazer

This is a fun conversation with filmmaker Dana Glazer. We start our conversation by discussing how his grandfather would work with Dana over multiple summer visits to create homemade claymation stop-action movies. We explore how his grandfather nurtured Dana’s creativity and gift for filmmaking. The lessons learned about just diving in and making a project and learning along the way is something Dana has passed on to his children. Dana and I talk about his children’s projects, Blackhole Producers and No Pizza! No Cake! as well as how to encourage children’s creativity.

As Dana grew older, and created his production company called Dane-Gramp productions. This childhood creation with his grandfather manifested itself to become where his films are created, produced, and promoted. We dive into the history of how Dana’s movie A Case of Blue was developed. Dana also walks us through the relatively quick schedule to move from the story to casting, shooting, and then promotion.

Dana and I carefully talk about A Case of Blue because there is so much going on with this movie. We try very hard to give you an understanding of the movie while at the same time leaving a lot of the treasures of this movie to yet be discovered. We also talk about the lead actor, Stephen Schnetzer, and what a great job he does as a new retiree, Richard, who is faced with life-altering decisions and circumstances as well as a crisis.

We take a movement to have an enjoyable conversation about acting, actors, storytelling, and filmmaking. As part of that discussion, Dana talks about how good actors, like Stephen and Dustin Hoffman, in the film The Graduate, go into themselves to bring out the character and make the character external for the film or performance.

Dana and I wrap up our conversation with a heartwarming and funny story that Dana shared at his grandfather’s funeral. This is a fantastic conversation about grandfathers, becoming a storyteller and a filmmaker in part because of those early home movies made with his grandfather.

Links:

Blackhole Producers – Dana’s youngest son’s YouTube channel

No Pizza! No Cake – Georgia Glazer’s children’s book

A Case of Blue – Dana’s fantastic movie

Dane-Gramp Productions – Dana’s production company

Stephen Schnetzer – Stephen’s IMDB page

EP – 34 Live Right, Lead Right, Leave Right. A legacy from two service-oriented grandfathers

My conversation with Brian Jodice

In this exciting conversation with Brian Jodice, we talk about his grandfathers and the lessons he learned from them. Brain shares with us stories about Pop (Jim Lepis) and Granddad (Pat Jodice). Both of these outstanding individuals were former servicemen in WWII and continued to serve their communities throughout their lives. Both grandfathers were from New Jersey (we didn’t get into what exit…New Jersey joke there).

Brian’s Pop was an aircraft mechanic in WWII and retired to the shore in Lavallette, NJ, after working in civilian life. Brian recalls family trips up to New Jersey full of cousins, noise, and, most importantly, family.

Granddad was a sonar man in the Navy during WWII and was able to see the Marines post the US Flag on top of Mt. Suribachi. Granddad also served in the Korean war. After serving his country, Granddad became a police officer in New Milford, New Jersey, where he eventually retired as the Chief of Police. Granddad retired and built a home in North Eastern North Carolina. Ganddad’s was very different in that Granddad’s house was not as crazy with just Brian’s brothers and one other cousin.

Brian clearly remembers how no matter what was going on or what grandfather’s home he was visiting, both Grandfathers were intentional about spending time with the grandchildren. We talk about how different but similar the time was at each house. You are going to love hearing the stories about Pop and Granddad, and there will be no doubt how much they loved their grandchildren.

From this conversation, you will see how Pop and Granddad loved and led their families and grandchildren. The legacy of being an intentional grandfather is evident with Brain and his brothers. Those lessons of being intentional came in many forms, from discussions around the kitchen table to working in Pop’s woodshop or just cruising around the neighborhood.

Links:

Pickup the Six website

My interview on the Pickup the Six Podcast

Pickup the Six Facebook page

Pickup the Six Instagram page

Pickup the Six Twitter page

Brian’s personal Facebook page

F3 Nation – Brian mentions F3 as a fitness group focused on Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith.

Links to the interviews I had about Maj. General Rupertus: Part 1 and Part 2

EP – 30 Two awesome grandfathers, two different worlds, one love

My conversation with Victoria Mininger

Victoria was blessed to have two awesome grandfathers that were from two very different worlds but enjoyed the love of them equally. In the fun conversation with Victoria, we learn about her early years growing up in New Mexico on a farm across from her Grandpa Ben Gomez. We learn how industrious and fun Grandpa Ben was and how he would look for ways to include Victoria in the chores and the fun of the farm.

As Victoria was growing up, her family lost their farm in New Mexico due to the pasteurization laws and not being able to comply with the new requirements. Victoria’s family moved to Virginia, and as a result, Victoria was able to deepen the relationship with her Granddaddy Orin in the hills and mountains of Virginia.

You will enjoy this conversation with Victoria as we learn about her fantastic, strong grandfathers and the many memories that she has of their loving relationships.

Victoria is an author and owner of an outdoor construction company. Please be sure to check out what Victoria is up to, and feel free to connect with her on Facebook.

Bear Creek Outdoor Living

Victoria’s Personal Website

Victoria’s Facebook Page

Victoria’s Writers Facebook Page

Amazon Link to Victoria’s Book, Daring to Fight: When Grit, Grace, & Faith Take Depression Head-On

Here is a link to Dan Miller’s 48days community where I met Victoria – Click Here