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By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Grandparents Day

Uploaded: Sep 12, 2017
Some years Grandparents Day sneaks up on me. It gets lost in the end of the summer/beginning of the school year rush and two of our family's birthday celebrations.

For Grandparents Day, we usually send a simple card or two to just let our grandparents and great grandparents know that we are thinking about them. This year our kids simply made artwork for their grandparents and great grandparents and we sent it via email. I found out early on that our kids usually enjoy sending texts and emails to relatives more than sending physical mail (but we try to do both). The almost instant response of a relative who lives far away always put a smile on their faces. And, our kids can give more than one person the same drawing (and even keep the original for themselves).

This year I read an article suggesting that kids interview grandparents and/or great grandparents for grandparents day. And I love the idea. It's too late for us to do this activity for grandparents day this year, but why wait for a holiday.

The most challenging part, of course, will be to come up with the right list of interview questions. Questions that actually interest our kids and also give our kids knowledge they didn't already have about their relatives. I'd like to dig deeper than their favorite colors and animals.

At the moment I'm planning to make a list of questions about their childhoods. What toys did they love to play with? What chores did they have? Did they have a favorite book? What games did they play with their brothers(s) and sister(s)? What was their favorite vacation as a kid? I'm curious what their answers will be. Who knows, maybe my parents and grandparents will get creative and come up with their own list of interview questions for our kids to answer.

How do you celebrate grandparents day?
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Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Sep 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Grandparents and Greatgrandparents are something that our kids are not quite too sure about. Somehow they don't always get that they are their parents mom and dad.

These interviews sound like a great idea and if they can be videoed for posterity that would be great.

I would suggest your kids as their grandparents for stories about what you and your husband were like as kids, did you eat your vegetables, make your beds, or sneak out of bed at night.

The other questions would be about family history, how did they meet each other, where did they live when they were growing up, what did their schools look like, what were the names of the schools and how did they get to school. Some of these things could quite likely come in handy when your kids get to school and have to do projects on where their family came from.

My kids are quite interested in their family history, I think, because their extended family all live far away. They don't have any family they can go and visit for a weekend meal or cousins they can play with after school, so being able to know a lot about their grandparents is a way they feel connected.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:00 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4- Great question ideas! I'll need to add them to our interviews.

Posted by Gale Johnson, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Sep 17, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Just by circumstance, and that's another story, I enrolled in 'Life Stories', a writing class taught by Sheila Dunec at Avenidas Senior Center. I've written over 60 stories to date and many of them deal with what is mentioned in the article. We write and then read our stories in class. I always email, as attachments, my stories, to friends and relatives. And, believe it or not, my grand-kids read them and love them.

And to the other idea...a great idea. My mom visited us here in Palo Alto, from Montana, many years ago. On one of her last visits my son, Jeff, and his wife came up to my house while grandma was here. Jeff brought his video camera, a tape type. It was one of those early big ones, like TV studio cameras. My mom looked beautiful, well coiffed, sitting on the sofa near a table lamp. Jeff focused his camera on her and asked a myriad of questions about her growing up days in Kansas, moving to Montana to teach, meeting my dad, raising a family on a farm, and many other of her life experiences. It is now on a DVD. Family histories are important, I think. Record them however you want, but record them.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Sep 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Gale Johnson - Thanks for reading and for commenting. That sounds like a wonderful DVD of your mother. The Life Stories class sounds very interesting. What a great way to share your stories with relatives, especially grandkids.

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