EP – 65 Grandpa was One of Three Heroes

Our conversation with Kent Julian

Renowned keynote speaker Kent Julian sits down with us to talk about one of his three heroes, Enoch Marshall. Kent shares how they were opposites in many ways, yet he was drawn to Enoch. When Kent thinks about and describes his grandfather, the word that comes to mind is WISDOM.

We discuss how Kent’s grandfather was there as Kent’s spiritual awakening began in middle and high school. Kent talks about how his grandfather became that person that provided Kent with guidance as it was needed.

As we continue discussing the influence of Enoch on Kent, we learn that the other two heroes in Kent’s life were a teacher and youth pastor. The three of them helped to turn Kent as an “at-risk youth” into a young man who grew closer to his faith and turned his life around. Kent talks about how his grandfather just seemed to have the right timing and accessibility to talk to Kent about spiritual matters and life.

We also talk a bit about the myth about quality time vs. quantity time. To Kent, quality time is what the receiver gets through quantity time. For example, shooting baskets in the driveway might be quantity time until a critical topic is brought up by the grandson or granddaughter, and then, that activity shifts to quality time.

Kent and I also talk about how grandfathers and others can get into the speaking game if they feel they have a message to share. We discuss how speaking could be a side hustle, something for fun, or a full-time gig, depending on what you want to get out of speaking. To learn more about getting into the speaking game, check out the links below to Kent’s site.

Please remember to like and share this podcast with someone you know who needs to hear the message about how important grandfathers are in the lives of grandchildren and families.

Links

Click HERE to learn even more about Kent

Click HERE to learn Kent’s 9 Ways to Get Paid as a Speaker

Click HERE to go to Kent’s Paid to Speak Podcast website

Click HERE to the Paid To Speak Conference that Kent and I briefly discussed

Affiliate Link

Readeo

EP – 64 Being A Proactive Grandfather

Our conversation with Richard Eyre

In this conversation, we are joined by Richard Eyre. Richard and his wife Linda have been writing and speaking about values-based parenting for over 20 years. Richard has taken his experience and insight with parenting and created a great book about being a proactive grandfather. With over 34 grandchildren, Richard has had experience with building deep and meaningful relationships with grandchildren both near and far.

Our discussion talks about the four different types or versions of grandfathers and which one is most rewarding for the grandfather and the grandchildren. Those four types are:

  1. Disengaged
  2. Limited
  3. Supportive
  4. Proactive

Richard and I also discuss the different roles that grandfathers play in the lives of their grandchildren as those grandchildren grow and develop.

Ensure that you check out the links to Ricard’s book and website below. You are sure to enjoy and benefit from Richard’s resources to offer grandfathers and parents alike.

Links

Click HERE to be taken to Richard’s website, Values Parenting

Click HERE to view Richard’s book, Being a Proactive Grandfather

Click HERE to listen to the podcast episode for Leave Nothing Unsaid with Jody Noland

Affiliate Link

Readeo

EP – 59 Being An Engaged Grandpa

Our conversation with Rich “Tabasco” Tedesco

Our conversation is with Tabasco. Tabasco sits down with us to discuss his experience of being a grandfather who lives close to his grandchildren. In this exciting conversation, we talk about how Tabasco how hearing the news that he would be a grandfather was like starting a new chapter in his life and a chance to share the world with another child.

We continue to talk about how Tabasco could focus on the grandchild and block out worldly distractions. Tabasco shares with us how to enjoy the early years and not rush them to grow up. As we dive into our conversation further, Tacasco talks about how important it is to make sure that the parents have the opportunity to experience the “firsts” with their children.

Be sure to check out the links below for more information about Tabasco and the fantastic career and wisdom he has to share.

Once you have listened to this conversation, be sure to share it with a friend.

Links

Tabasco’s interview from Military.com

Affiliate Link

Readeo

EP – 57 A Grandfather’s Strength

Our conversation with Dave Evans

This week’s conversation is with Dave Evans. Dave and I sit down to talk about his experience with being a grandfather. We talk a lot about his granddaughter Nyia and her challenges. During Nyia’s delivery, she went without oxygen for about 12 minutes resulting in Nyia having extensive brain and motor issues.

Nyia and her family are working with the great people at NAPA on an individual therapy plan to help Nyia learn to do as much for herself as possible. As you can imagine, Nyia relies on the therapists’ support and care, her loving parents, and her supportive grandparents.

Dave and I discuss his reaction to the news of what happened to Nyia during delivery and how he could be a valuable support to Nyia’s parents in the days and months after Nyia’s birth. We also talk about how Nyia is doing now and how Dave reads to Nyia, pushes her in the swing, and writes music with Nyia. Dave also shares how he has taken the following scripture to heart to describe what it is to be a grandfather.

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” – Colossians 3:12

Join us for this touching conversation about how grandfathers can play an important part in supporting the family through tough times. You will also want to hear how Nyia is growing stronger and doing many more activities with the help of Dave, Nyia’s family, and caregivers.

At the end of our conversation, you will get a chuckle out of the story that Dave provides about his grandfather going the extra mile back in the 1960s by taking Dave to a rock and roll show.

Once you have listened and enjoyed the show, please share Dave’s story with someone who could use some inspiration about how important grandfathers are in strengthening the family. If you would like to get in touch with Dave, please shoot me an email at greg@cool-grandpa.com, and I will share your thoughts with Dave.

Links

NAPA

Click HERE to listen to the conversation with Ralph Jodice

Affiliate Link

Readeo

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 – 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