The Connections Bridgewater Somerville Edition Dec 2019-Jan 2020

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For example, if tempted by peers to take an addicting substance, children must have the courage to say, “NO DRUGS FOR ME!” Presently, emphasis is on the treatment of addicted individuals and millions of dollars are spent yearly to try and eradicate the addic- tion. Would it not be far better, more economical and more appropriate to institute measures that will prevent the addiction? Currently, the divorce rate is over fifty percent and what is even more shocking is that sixty percent of children in America are being raised in single parental households. When available, many of the remaining single parents turn to grandparents to help raise the children and the grandparents then assume a major role in rearing the grandchildren. The grandparents should not negate their responsibili- ties to protect the grandchildren from harmful situa- tions. To be sure, rearing children is still a major respon- sibility of a parent who defines the guidelines of how they wish to raise their children. The grandparent, usu- ally, is an observer, giving helpful suggestions when requested, but should never be so domineering that they anger the parent. Many grandparents live far from their grandchildren and only see them for short bursts of time. However, if a grandparent spends only a few days of vacation time or are full-time parent-substitutes, they should expose the grandchildren, when feasible, to techniques of how the grandchildren should protect themselves from addiction and other situations of danger. Spending quality time by parents and grandparents with their off springs has been shown to be very important. Dedicated time between grandparent and grandchil- dren must be put aside for all the children in the family. The infant and toddler should be exposed to lullabies, fairy tales, and stories of family members. The grand- parent must be patient and the atmosphere of their get together should be non-threatening and enjoyable. As verbalization develops, encourage children to give a simple analysis of what was presented. For example, after telling the fable of the “Three Little Pigs”, ask your grandchildren, “What was the story about?” “What materials would they use to build a house and why?” After the age of six, some important life management skills should be introduced and over the coming years, additional subjects should be added; while at the same time, reinforcing important previous topics. Areas to be discussed should include addiction, how to manage relationships between friends, how to handle discrimi- nation and prejudice, what to do when bullied or sexu- ally threatened, etc. To reiterate, topics should be repeated often and reinforced as the child matures. Cer- tain subjects may be tabled to a time when the grand- children are older but, as in the case of sexual matters, the topic must be thoroughly evaluated before children become sexually active. It is hard to fathom that every year over 750,000 unwanted teenage pregnancies occur; mainly because the participants did not under- stand the need to practice safe sex, nor understand the responsibilities and consequences of rearing a child. The younger the child, the easier it is to convey the nec- essary feelings and attitudes about a particular subject. Six to eleven is an ideal age to discuss most topics. Upon reaching adolescence, some grandchildren may be less prone to having in depth discussions with parents or grandparents, especially if the teens are rebellious. Ideal- ly, after children reach six years of age, all members of the family should meet together in a Monthly Meeting. The first part of the meeting may discuss events that have occurred since the last time that the group met. The remaining time should consider vicariously other important topics, such as handling discrimination, preju- dice, bullying etc. The meeting need not last longer than 30 to 45 minutes, should be held at the same time each month if possible and attendance must be compulsory. The following is a typical example of how a monthly meeting session might proceed. All family members open their e-book or hard cover manual to page 141, Chapter Twenty nine, “It Won't Happen to Me”. All read the short paragraphs describing the experiences of the four addicted individuals described in the book. A short discussion by the children follow: answering the questions why the addicted students started on drugs, what should they have done and what prevented them from stopping the use of the addicting substance. The group may also utilize questions found in the third sec- tion of the book on page 178. Hopefully, over the ensu- ing years, drug addiction will be discussed many times. With a thorough knowledge of the subject, the student will be less likely to indulge in addicting substances. This same method applies to other subjects to be discussed. “PREPARING CHILDREN for the FUTURE” is a 200 page manual which can be used to guide the discussion of important topics, as it acts as a catalyst to engage in a wide variety of subjects. Vicariously, the child will understand what dangers might be encountered in the future and be given the tools and knowledge of how to handle many threatening and non-threatening situa- tions. A sentence, paragraph or chapter may be recited, after which the participants are encouraged to dissect the material in question, give opinions and arrive at log- ical conclusions. The manual need not be read like a novel. Topics can be discussed out of order as partici- pants desire or as situations arise. A Table of Contents as well as a Suggested Curriculum is included in the book. A free e-mail version can be obtained by requesting a copy on and is compatible with tablets, computers and smart phones. Forwarding the e- book to relatives and friends is encouraged. A hard copy is available on the website under the title, “Preparing Children for the Future” for those grand- parents not comfortable with computers. If giving important life-saving information to children saves anyone from addiction, physical and sexual abuse, discrimination, bullying and decreases the number of teenage pregnancies and divorces, then the art of par- enting and grand parenting will have taken an impor- tant step forward and will place children on the path of avoiding future dangerous situations and achieving a successful and rewarding life. “Dr. Mel” is a Pediatrician who has always championed the needs of children and represents a non-profit corporation, Rewarding Life, Inc., whose mission is to instruct children how to avoid harm’s way, He is a graduate of Cornell–Weill Medical School. He practiced Pediatrics for many years and is the author of medical and lay articles. Comments and queries should be addressed to ROLE OF GRANDPARENTS IN PREPARING GRANDCHILDREN FOR THE FUTURE Submitted By: Melvin S. Rosh, MD, FAAP (Dr. Mel)