Find Your Grandchild’s Love Language

find your grandchild's love language

You may remember back in the 1990’s that a book came out by Gary Chapman called, “The Five Love Languages” and then in 1997 “The Five Love Languages of Children” By Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. There was another one, as well, called “The Five Love Languages of Teenagers.” I remember these books to be very interesting to me because I love finding ways to know myself and others better.

I found “The Five Love Languages of Children” to be very helpful when I was teaching 5th and 6th grade. Whenever I had a student who was a behavior problem or just proved to be difficult, I would go back to Dr. Chapman’s book for suggestions on how I could show love to my challenging students. Because, once I showed them love, a door of communication would open which allowed me to address a world of other things.

“Once I showed them love, a door of communication would open which allowed me to address a world of other things.” 

So, now that I’m a grandmother, I thought I’d revisit this super helpful book for ideas on how to identify and show love to my grandboys. We all want to be seen, understood and loved. As grandparents, we don’t always have a lot of time to spend with our grandkids. Sometimes we are so far apart that our time with grandkids is minuscule. If you’re like me you want every minute, every word and every dime to communicate how much I love them and how awesome I think they are! Identifying our grandchild’s love language could help us get to our grandkid’s hearts quickly and efficiently

“If you’re like me, you want every minute, every word and every dime to communicate how much I love them and how awesome I think they are!” 

So, while I’m rereading this book, I thought I’d summarize Dr. Chapman and Dr. Campbell’s suggestions on how to identify your child or grandchild’s love language and then I’ll give you suggestions for how to express love to them. Even though I’m giving you this information, I encourage you to get the books yourself and find your love language as well as the love language of your spouse, kids, and grandkids. It really does work and is SO helpful!

What are the five love languages?

  1. Physical Touch
  2. Words of Affirmation
  3. Quality Time
  4. Gifts
  5. Acts of Service

If you have never heard about the Five Love Languages, that list may make you chuckle. All kids like ALL of those things, want ALL of those things and need ALL of those things. However, when you discover what your grandchild’s primary love language is, you will be able to express your love to them in a way that is deeply satisfying and meaningful to them. If your grandchild’s primary love language is physical touch and all you do is buy them gifts, their hearts won’t be as filled as it would be if you would sit them on your lap and read a book to them. If you want to reach the heart of your grandchild, then try to identify their love language and love them in a way their heart understands. They will remember you forever!

“Identify your grandchild’s love language so you can communicate directly to their heart.” 

How to identify your grandchild’s love language

Authors Chapman and Campbell suggest that you don’t tell your grandchildren what you are doing since kids are masters at manipulating situations to get what they want, haha! As grandparents, we know how that is and we are willing participants! Here are the ways you can secretly observe them to identify their love language.

  1. Observe how they express love to you. Do they always tell you that they love you or thank you for doing things for them? Their love language may be words of affirmation. However, kids learn quickly that if they say the right, sweet words, they can often get what they want. So, you’ll want to make more careful observations.
  2. Observe how they express love to others. A child whose love language is giving gifts may always be interested in giving gifts to his teacher. When they are with you, notice how they express love to their parents.
  3. Listen to what your grandchild requests most often. All children want to be noticed and praised, but notice if your grandchild focuses on requests for your time. If they want you to play games with them or read with them or do activities with them they are requesting quality time. If your grandchild is constantly soliciting your praise about their artwork or music performance or the clothes they are wearing they may be requesting words of affirmation. Of course, all children will ask for your compliments every now and then, but a constant request could be an indication of their greatest need.
  4. Listen to what your grandchild complains about. All kids complain, so frequency and a repeated pattern are what you’re looking for here. It might be especially effective as you observe your grandchild and their parents. Do they complain that their parents spend too much time working and never have time to take them to the park? Maybe your grandchild is crying out for quality time. You can give that to them. Not to replace the parent but to show love your grandchild.
  5. Give your grandchild a choice between two options. You could ask your grandchild if they’d like for you to bake cookies for them (acts of service) or take them to the park (quality time). Would they like to lay on the couch and watch a movie (physical touch and quality time) or go to the store and buy something (gifts)?
  6. Ask the parents what they think their child’s love language is. Not only will this help you but it will also help the parents think about ways the can more directly and better show their child love. Not only that, but how they can better love their spouse and others. And that’s what it’s all about, showing love to the whole family!

Some suggestions for showing love to each love language

The expression of each love language will change as your grandchild grows older. You will need to find age-appropriate ways to express your love. You will also have to find ways to fit your grandchild’s unique tastes and preferences. However, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Physical Touch – If you find that your grandchild’s love language is physical touch and you’re not a touchy-feely person, then get over it. I hate to be direct but a hug or pat on the back for a physical touch person will mean more than any gift or word of affirmation. If your grandkids are young it’s easy. Hug them, kiss them, hold their hand, rub their backs. Sit them in your laps, wrestle with them in the floor, swing them around, dance and play contact sports. Scratch their backs, stroke their hair and let them lay on your while you’re watching TV.

If you’re a distance grandparent and you can’t touch your grandchild, then buy them a blanket or pillow. Buy or make a sweater that they can wear that will remind them of you.

Words of Affirmation – While this love language is easy to express, we don’t always take the time to be deliberate so it is often overlooked. Make a point to tell your grandchild you love them without it being connected to a need or request. Make sure your words of praise are true. If they are exaggerated or flat-out untrue, the child will not take it to heart and relegate it to mere flattery. Pay attention to your grandchild’s real strengths and praise them for it. Try to find that hidden treasure in your grandchild and praise them for it. Praise them for their kindness, not just that they look pretty or handsome. Praise them for being patient with a younger sibling or persistence in finishing a difficult task.

If you’re a distance grandparent you can write letters, send notes and cards with words of affirmation and love. Engage your grandchild in phone calls and FaceTime calls and ask them about what they’re doing and express your pride and excitement about the things in their lives.

Quality Time – Quality time is often what people think of when they think of time spent with grandparents. However, in this busy world and distracted life, quality time can practically disappear. Quality time is doing things together while focusing on each other. It’s not so much about the activity as it is the talking, laughing and sharing. Create little traditions with your grandchild where it’s just time for the two of you. And be present! Look them in the eye. Listen to what they say and respond to them. When they visit, take them to get an ice-cream cone. Work in the garden together, not to get a task done, but just to hang out together. Share family stories, look at family photos, do anything as long as it’s together.

When you’re a distance grandparent, FaceTime, Skype and any video communication is your best friend. Be prepared to spend a lot of time just sitting together, maybe in silence, just to be together. Read books together, let them watch you bake cookies all the while laughing and talking, then mail them to your grandchild.

Gifts – For a child whose love language is gifts, gifts are more than just material objects. “They are tangible expressions of love that speak deeply.” For this child, the loss or misplacement of such an item is devastating. This child will make a special place in his or her room for those gifts. How a gift is wrapped is important and the ceremony around unwrapping the gift will also be important. Make sure the gifts speak to the interest of the child. Be thoughtful and deliberate.

For the distance grandparent, this love language is the easiest. However, since our presence and voices will not be as frequent as our gifts, we need to be sure to send our love in words and also make visits. The meaning behind the gift is that you know and love your grandchild. And if they don’t really know you, they won’t get the meaning.

Acts of Service – You can express your love to your grandchildren by “doing things they may not yet be able to do for themselves.” By doing things for them that they can do for themselves is just spoiling them. And while that’s what grandparents are known for, we really want to balance it with teaching them how to do things for themselves. Teaching your grandchildren how master basic skills is a great opportunity to spend quality time, give them words of affirmation and physical touch, too. You can show your grandchild love by fixing a broken toy, helping them with homework, and fixing their favorite food when they come to visit. When you perform an act of service for your grandchild, you are also modeling for them how to serve others.

When you’re a distance grandparent, use FaceTime or Skype to help your grandchild with their homework. Order a pizza online and have it delivered on a weeknight just because it would be fun. If your grandchild is not feeling well, order some soup to be delivered and rent a movie for them to watch.

It will be worth it!

I can tell you from experience that identifying and expressing love languages is worth it! It’s an easy and sure way that your child, spouse and grandchild KNOWS that you love them. When they feel loved, they are more settled, satisfied and peaceful. When their “love tanks” are filled, they can then go into the world and love others.

What a great gift to give your grandchild!

Here are links to the books on Amazon. They will give you so much more help than I did!

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If you would like these FREE, handy Love Language Printables, just download  Finding your grandchild’s love language now!

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The Best Toys For Grandma’s House

I never knew my grandparents but I do remember going to the homes of older people as a kid. There are a few things I remember. I remember the smell of an old person’s home. The temperature of an old person’s home and the things or “toys” we were allowed to play with.

While the first two things can be easily handled by getting some plug-ins and turning on the air conditioner, the big issue is Grandma’s toy selection. Most of the time it’s just sad. I vowed, even before I became a grandmother, that I would have fun toys at my house.

So, in this post, I want to link you up with some classic toys that the grandkids will love. You don’t always have to have the latest, trendiest toys. You can get some classics that will last through several grandkids and won’t put you into debtor’s prison.

The green words are a link straight to Amazon.

For the little ones 0-12 months:

Stacking Rings

 

Pop Up Activity Toy

Play Mat

 

For the toddlers 1-4 years:

 

Duplo blocks

 

Age Appropriate Doll House or this awesome Farm Set

Animal figurines

Play Tents, Teepees and tunnels

 

For the bigger kids 5-7

(You can never have too many of these!) 

Legos, Legos, Legos 

 

Barbies

 

Classic Games Like Checkers & Chess

 

Sports Equipment Like Soccer Balls Footballs and Basketballs

 

These are classic, simple and have been popular through the years!

Stock up and get ready for the grandkids!

Being A Grandma In This Momo World

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That Momo Challenge thing is getting a lot of attention. I’ve read and heard that it’s probably a hoax. And whether it is or not, it has been the catalyst for needed conversations about whether parents are aware of what kids are into on the internet.

It’s not just the parent’s problem, it’s the grandparent’s problem, too. I only have 2-year-old grandchildren at this point and they are already interacting with the internet. They LOVE to get in my bed, eat pretzels and watch YouTube videos of Blippi. Although that may seem innocent enough, YouTube will cut in with commercials for movies that are for adults. They will flash scary or sexual scenes that I don’t want my grandkids seeing. When we are out shopping, I have found that a video or toddler game on my phone will quickly and efficiently fend off a meltdown and those commercials are still there.

“Being a grandma in this Momo world means that I have to pay attention and take precautions to protect my grandkids while they are with me.”

To be quite honest, I had to stay on top of things so much as a parent, that it makes me tired to think about having to learn new technology and stay up on current trends and dangers. I like being able to just relax and not worry about all that parenting stuff these days. I like the grandma gig where I can have fun and send them home and all the serious stuff is not my job.

However, when it comes to the internet and technology at my house, it really is my responsibility to keep them safe when they are with me.

“Just like putting up a baby gate on the stairs or railing around a deck, I need to set online boundaries and set up cyber barriers to keep my grandkids safe.” 

I don’t think we can get around it. I mean, even if I don’t want to put in the time and effort to make sure that my grandkids are safe when they are at my house on the internet then I have to put in the time and effort to make sure they have activities to keep them off the internet. Unfortunately, there will still be those down times when they will want to get online because I don’t have the energy to go as much as they do. And there will be times where your nerves just can’t handle hearing “Baby Shark” one more time! You will want to cut them loose to watch things on their own.

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So, what can a Grandma do in this Momo world? 

  1. Talk to your own kids about what they do to protect your grandkids. Your own children are the best resource because they are on the front lines. Your kids really do know their children better than you do, so it’s best to let them guide you in how to protect your grandchildren.
  2. Put up some cyber barriers. Get familiar with the parental controls on your cable box and within the apps on your tv, computer and phone. If your grandkids get on your computer, then look into installing some filtering software and set parental controls within your computer. If you have gaming systems, do the same there.
  3. Set up some online time boundaries while your grandkids are at your house. Create screen-free times such as meal times and bedtime.
  4. When it comes to online activity, because it can be so unsafe, make sure you enforce the parent’s rules at your house. We all know how grandkids like to try to get away with stuff at Grandma’s house and we like to let them! Eating candy and staying up late is one thing, but unmonitored internet use is like playing with fire.
  5. Become familiar with popular apps and social media sites.
  6. Talk to your grandkids (and you may be able to get more info out of them than even their parents) about what they do online. What apps do they use? How do they keep up with their friends, etc?
  7. Do an online search and read articles about how to protect your kids while they are online. There’s a lot of great info out there like this article here.
  8. Teach your kids that there is more to do with a phone than get on social media. Download a tree identification app like Leafsnap and go for a hike. Teach them how to take and edit photos with a photo editing app like My Little Guy Photobooth.
  9. The most effective protection, in my opinion, is to be present. Watch tv with them. Get involved with their online activity. Play video games with them. They have limited time with you, so spend your time together. They will less likely get into online trouble if you are right there beside them.

“The most effective protection is to be present.” 

I followed my own advice and asked my daughter-in-law what she was doing to protect my 2-year-old grandson while he uses the internet to watch his favorite shows. She told me this:

  • There have been so many disturbing things pop up while watching YouTube kid’s shows that she has almost abandoned it and has now subscribed to Amazon FreeTime app. It’s $2.99 a month for Prime members and there are books and videos available. It includes some of my 2-year-old grandboys favorite shows such as Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street, and Curious George.
  • Even though my grandson can’t use the tv remote yet, she has taken advantage of parental controls on her tv.
  • She limits his screen time.
  • She said the best thing she can do to prevent him from seeing scary things that might pop up is to watch tv and shows on the phone WITH him.

I hope that helps a little. Feel free to leave a comment and let me and my readers know what you have done at your house to protect your grandkids while they are online.

Peace,

Jill

 

 

 

 

Thinking About A Spicy Shelf To Organize Your Spices? Here’s My Experience

the minimalist grandma

My spice cabinet has been getting on my last nerve.

I’ve been in my new house for 6 months now.  I left a wonderful, huge pantry that I designed with a wall of small shelves just for spices. The shelves for spices were the perfect depth for one spice bottle and they were long enough to fit about 20+ bottles across. I could walk in my pantry and see all my spices all at once. It was spice organization heaven. I was spoiled.

Now I have a cabinet by the stove hood.

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It was getting on my nerves because I can’t see what I have at glance. I have to dig around, push stuff out of the way. I hate it. And the spice collection I have is only going to grow, so I need help!

I looked around for organization ideas. I came across this product with the corny name, Spicy Shelf.

There are two Spicy Shelves in this particular box. I guess it’s really one if you stack them like they’ve done in the photo.

The first thing I really liked about this product was you have several size options to choose from. It has the flexibility to quite possibly fit the space you have. In regards to the width, it can be shrunk or stretched to fit your cabinet. There, of course, is a limit and you should check the dimensions to be sure it will fit in the area you need. In regards to height, you have 2 leg heights to choose from. You can attach the longer legs on the bottom shelf and the shorter legs for the top shelf as seen in the photo on the box. Or you can use the leg lengths in any combination to fit your needs. Make sure you think about this because you may have to remove or readjust the existing shelves in your cabinet like I did. And if your existing shelves can’t be adjusted, you need to really check out the dimensions. This is from the Amazon details for this product:

Each Spicy Shelf Deluxe can be adjusted to as narrow as 7.5” to as wide as 17”. The depth of the shelf is 10 3/8”.

You can use one shelf alone, as I did. Or you can stack them like the photo on the box. The legs make it so it can stand alone or you can install it with screws inside your cabinet.

It was easy to put together. The instructions were clear. The feet have rubber pads and it was pretty sturdy so it felt good, not like it was going to break apart at the slightest touch.

The shelves are narrow, the width of a spice bottle, but I did use the second one in my pantry closet for canned goods and it was fine.

After all is said and done, it really didn’t hold as many spice bottles as I would like, but remember I’m spoiled!

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And it didn’t magically transform my little cabinet into a huge pantry like I wished. I still have to move things around to see everything I have. But it’s better than it was!

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Since my goal was to be able to SEE everything I had, I think this is the best product I’ve come across. If you want to be able to stock as many spices and as many canned goods as you can in a given space, this is not what you’re after. You can see in my photos that there’s wasted space. But remember my goal was to SEE it all.

I think it’s a great product and I recommend it! Buy Spicy Shelf on Amazon here!

Peace & Organization,

Jill

Linda Ronstadt’s Live Album Available!

If you’re about my age, you’ll be so excited! If you are younger than me then you will be excited after you hear the album!

As my kids were growing up, I made sure they listened to all types of music. We listened to Classical, Bluegrass, Whale Songs, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Rock n Roll, Show Tunes, Screamo, Emo, Rap, you name it, we listened.

However, being the Mom who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s there were artists that my children HAD to listen to to be able to converse with me.

As a little girl, my daughter had to know Carole King, Carly Simon, Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell. There were many others, too, including the great Linda Ronstadt!

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My daughter couldn’t know Linda in her prime and nowadays Linda is battling Parkinson’s disease. However, that doesn’t mean Linda’s influence is over! She has just made available a new album of live performances from the 1980s that have been previously unreleased.

So, I must strongly urge you, no matter your age or hair color, to get this album. Her crystal clear, amazing voice will astound you! This is a must for every person’s musical library – young or old!

Live in Hollywood by Linda Ronstadt is available on Amazon!

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Just listen to this!

Thank you, Linda!

Peace,

Jill

3 Real Cookbooks For Real People

There are 3 categories that I put cookbooks in:

  • Beautiful but not practical – I love these cookbooks because they have beautiful photography and they inspire me to be a better cook (in the same way Superman inspires me to be a superhero) but are not practical enough for me to really use them.
  • Interesting but not practical – These cookbooks are great because they are historical or cultural and I love to learn about people through the food they eat. While they are interesting, they probably include ingredients that are just not in the purview of my everyday. Like capers and prawns are not going to make it on my shopping list.
  • Real Cookbooks – These are cookbooks that include recipes that have ingredients I will actually buy and eat and the instructions are not outrageously complicated.

Lately, I have 3 “REAL” cookbooks that are my go-to’s when I need a nudge out of my food rut.

  1. Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines

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I love this cookbook because it fits my criteria for a “Real Cookbook.” There are lots of recipes when you’re craving that comfort food like Chicken Pot Pie, Scalloped Potatoes or Chocolate Chip Cookies. But be sure to make her Sour Cream Enchiladas! They have been a big hit at my house. And I’d like to add that the photographs are beautiful and so it also falls under the category of a Beautiful Cookbook.

2. The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime by Ree Drummond

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I just got this cookbook for Christmas so I haven’t made a lot of the recipes, but it’s not difficult to tell that this is a “Real Cookbook.” With recipes like Baked Ziti, French Dip Sandwiches, and Cheese Biscuits, you know this is “real.” The cookbook is loaded with photos, clear and complete instructions, and little personal notes from Ree scattered throughout. I think that the photos of her handsome husband nudge it into the category of a Beautiful Cookbook, too.

3. SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow by Gina Homolka

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I heard about this cookbook from my Weight Watcher friends and I’ve used it for several years now. I have to say that at first, I was put off because of some of the exotic sounding recipes that I didn’t feel that I would make. However, when you dig into the book you’ll find that most of the recipes are really down to earth and “real.” You also get the added benefit of a nutritional breakdown of each recipe if you need it. And there are a bunch of slow cooker recipes to help you if you have a busy schedule. You need to try her “Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner,” “Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls,” and “Cauliflower Fried Rice.”

These cookbooks are nice enough to give as gifts, too. I highly recommend them!

Peace,

Jill

Valentine’s Day These Days

Charles and Diana were just starting their relationship. Christopher Cross, Michael Jackson and K.C. and  The Sunshine Band were in the top 10. We were watching “The Shining,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Blues Brothers” at the movies. We didn’t have a cell phone or internet or a home computer. It was the ice age.

Our first date was my senior prom. He graduated from college and I graduated from high school the same year.

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That seems like a million years ago and not so long ago at the same time.

So, 39 Valentine’s Days later and we’re still here.

What I like about these days is that the pressure is off.

We don’t need to impress. We don’t need to guess.

You can say the romance is gone, the mystery is gone, the hype is gone, the intensity is gone, you can say whatever you want to is gone… but I say it’s better.

We live in the afterglow. After the party. After the kids have gone to bed. It’s like Friday after work. After an enjoyable meal. After all the hard work is completed. After all the stress and after all the expectations are met and you just settle into that comfortable, satisfied, relaxed state of afterglow.

That’s what life is like now.

I used to fight it. I used to feel guilty like I should be doing more, getting more, being more. I’d push and press and shove to make our life and our love fit a mold that honestly didn’t fit us.

39 years later and we’re just tired of reaching for something that we actually had all along. We have each other. We love each other. No need to prove it with something from the store. No need to worry, it’s been tested and proved. We ain’t going nowhere.

I really like the chilled out, laid back easy going vibe we have going on. We don’t want much these days. We don’t need much these days. Whatever we want we usually buy for ourselves. Wherever we want to go, we go.

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So, for Valentine’s Day we’ll probably do one of our favorite things: get in the car and go someplace new. We’ll hold hands and laugh and eat and see someplace we’ve never seen.

So, this Valentine’s Day I encourage you to chill, do what makes you happy and savor the moments you have with the people you love. When it all boils down, that’s the most valuable and precious gift we can give and receive, spending time with the people we love.

Raise your glass for these “after” days!