Grandparenting 101 With Richard and Linda Eyre
The unique and powerful T.E.A.M. approach to three-generation families that protects and nurtures children even as it gives grandparents true relevance and allows them to leave a lasting legacy through their grandchildren
We call proactive, difference-making grandparenting “the New Frontier” because families throughout the world are finding that involved grandparents make all the difference and that three generation families working together give children all kinds of advantages in life. The first two complete 6-month courses of Grandparenting 101 wrapped up this past summer, with over 1,000 grandparents having registered and participated. Season three will be refined and reborn as the featured MasterClass of Grandparents Academy where it will be condensed into a powerful five-day course that will happen every evening during the week beginning January 22, 2024. Join us live on Zoom for the opportunity to ask the Eyres real-time questions during these class sessions. And if you have to miss one or more of the five classes, you will have full and easy access to the recordings to watch at your leisure.
Grandparenting will never be the same! Registration will be limited, but you can secure your place in the class either by registering now or by sending us a message to let us know you are interested so we can save you a spot.
The T.E.A.M. Approach to Proactive Grandparenting
The central thesis of the course is that all grandparents can BE four crucial things to their grandkids, and play four crucial roles in their three-generation families. We can all be the Trunk, the Ear, the Assembler, and the Match. Becoming these four things is called the T.E.A.M. approach to grandparenting, and of course, the name has a double meaning because it only works when there is good teamwork between us and our children-the-parents.
The Trunk represents being the one who connects the branches of our children and grandchildren with the roots of our ancestors. Research shows that making this connection helps kids to be more resilient and to have a sense of identity and place in this disrupted world.
The Ear symbolizes the unique way that grandparents can listen to and connect with grandchildren, forming a unique relationship of trust, support, and confidence that lasts a lifetime. And of course, much of this communication and connection needs to be online and on the social media that our grandkids use.
Being the Assembler is about creating and managing gatherings and reunions, Sunday dinners, and other get-togethers that unite families, bond cousins, and create strong relationships and synergy between family members. The specifics of how and where depend on individual circumstances, but there are certain key principles that apply to all good assemblies and gatherings of families.
The Match suggests that while we all want to give to or help our grandkids materially or financially, it needs to be done in ways that generate motivation and self-initiative rather than entitlement. Helping kids learn to earn and save and then providing a 1:1 match to double what they have is the fundamental method to use.
History and Background
Now here is a little review and context about why Valuesparenting (and Richard and Linda) are so excited about proactive, difference-making grandparenting:
The Eyres, after nearly 40 years of writing and speaking to parents throughout the world, have now turned their attention to where their own life is—grandparenting, partnering with and parenting adult children, and finding balance between family, faith, ongoing work, retirement, estate planning, and travel. The goal is living the fullest and richest autumn season possible (Linda and Richard prefer to call it “Indian Summer”), and at the heart of it all is grandparenting!
Grandparenting today is where Parenting was 50 or 60 years ago—there are relatively few books and resources available to give us the answers and ideas we need. And yet many of us will be grandparents for four decades—more than twice as much time as we spent parenting a child in our home! Becoming an effective, proactive grandparent is not easy. We have to learn how to communicate with a new generation of kids, and we have to learn to teach and to give to them in ways that do not bypass or step on the toes of our children, the parents.
That’s why Richard and Linda have developed the T.E.A.M. approach to Grandparenting–a fun and impactful online course on the art of developing solid, lasting, difference-making relationships with our grandkids.
Doing this well—making the most of this high-priority new role of grandparent—takes a plan. And it’s not just grandparenting—it’s learning how to live well in this new empty nest (or almost empty nest) season of life. What Richard and Linda do in their latest books, presentations and social media is to explore ways in which we can inventory our skills, our assets, and our opportunities even as we come to appreciate and understand our stewardships and priorities more clearly. And they have distilled the essence of their books and their thinking into the 5-part online course, which will premiere this January. It is the most complete and refined version of Grandparenting 101 and is called “The T.E.A.M. approach to Strong 3-generation Families” because it involves working effectively as a team with our children-the-parents.
Here are some of the valuable, difference-making things that are included in this groundbreaking online course:
- Building trusting, confidence-giving relationships with individual grandchildren
- Long-distance grandparenting: How to stay close to grandkids who live far away
- Why the Empty Nest hurts and how to ease the pain and learn the pleasure
- How to give advice without offending adult children
- Extending financial help that empowers rather than entitles grandchildren
- Setting specific goals for the kind of help and support you want to give your grandchildren at different ages
- How to have fun with grandkids. How to use and develop a sense of humor that works with them (“The top ten ways to enjoy your grandkids”)
- How to set boundaries that protect your own life but that don’t offend parents–in order to create the synergy between parents and grandparents that makes life better for the kids.
- Working with and finding compatibility with “the other grandparents.”
- Traveling with grandkids
- How to help and influence grandkids’ values and faith
- Fun activities for getting cousins to enjoy being together despite the age gaps
- How to prioritize relationships over achievements for the rest of your life
- Making sons- or daughters-in-law a true and real part of your family
- Two questionnaires–one to draw out the true nature and feelings of your grandchildren and the other to gauge where and how your children want help with their children
- How to release your role of manager and replace it with your new role of consultant
- Why “just over the hill” is the best place to be in life (“the remarkable gifts of age”)
- Working from the inside out—designing the new YOU
- Becoming a “gatherer” and planning awesome family reunions and trips within budget
- The “Ten Empty Folders” approach to planning the rest of your life
- Why 65 is the new 45
- Being the “story-link” that connects your grandkids to your ancestors–the “trunk” that links “branches” to “roots”
- The art and power of Grandparenting: Eight things you can do which parents can’t
- Seven Decisions you can make now that will enrich the remainder of life
- How an Empty Nest Marriage is different, and how to make it better
- “Grandfather’s Secrets” and “Grammie Camps”
- Helping grandkids overcome entitlement and develop GRIT
- It takes a village (or a orchestrated extended family): Forming an efficient partnership with your kids for your grandkids
- The top-ten “practical practices” and the top-ten “potential pitfalls” of Grandparenting
- Why Grandparents may be this world’s greatest untapped resource
We all understand that every family, and every grandchild and every grandparent is different and unique, so this course does not try to present one-size-fits-all answers and solutions; rather, it gives you the stories, the examples and the ideas that will help you form your own unique and personal set of grandparenting goals and plans.
The Five Zoom classes that make up the Master course will be delivered one-per-day during the week starting on January 21, and participants will also receive emailed supplements and outlines.
All registered members will also receive the opportunity to order the full series of Alexander’s Amazing Adventures–12 brilliant and dramatic stories to listen to with grandchildren that teach the 12 core values of life (Based on the Eyres New York Times #1 Bestseller Teaching Your Children Values). Be sure to get registered right away. Please pass on this link to any of your friends and associates who are grandparents–they will thank you!
What the Eyres have felt so deeply as they talk to grandmas and grandpas young and old around the world, is that we are all trying to become the best grandparents we can be, but that none of us want to rediscover the wheel–if there are established good methods and grandparenting ideas, we want to know about them.
More committed, more proactive grandparents have the power to not only strengthen their own families, but their communities and our whole society. Working together and learning from each other is part of that. As we become members of Grandparenting 101 we are joining a movement that can change the world!
As you can see, ValuesParenting and the Eyres want you to join us in deep involvement in this important and joyful thing called grandparenting. We want Grandparenting 101 to help each of us grow into the best family leaders and supporters possible and to become part of a large coalition or movement of difference-making grandparents, sharing ideas and motivation with each other about this core-of-life role!
Here are some of the books that relate to the online course (and that will be made available at author’s price to those who register and participate).