IDEAS With Kids: Visiting Grandkids

Recently, two of my GrandBlessings, almost 8 & 10 years old, stayed with me for a week for the first time (they are a relatively new addition to our family 🥰). Because having lived alone for many years now, my life of quiet, peace, and silence, rarely with tv or even music on, I was super excited to have them, but a bit iffy about the constant chatter, movement, interruptions, etc. What could we do to have an enjoyable time and still keep my sanity???

Here are a few things that made a difference:

  • We talked about Expectations and Choices, in front of their Mom.
  • Each had their own color of cup, plate and bowl. (Could fill their own water glass, with a specific place to keep it)
  • Each got to have a ‘Creativity Corner’. They got to have their own quiet space, filling it with a pillows, a lamp, water, notepad or journal, pens/pencils/colors, books, solid surface (table or tray), etc.
    • They were to write 3 things they were Grateful for each time they went there.
    • They could write dreams, ideas, stories, etc.
    • I sometimes had a question for them, like figuring out our age difference, or what three things they like to eat…?
    • One child had Lincoln Logs; one had brain teaser puzzles, for when they wanted to play together.
    • A family jigsaw puzzle on a table in a different area, as they felt like it.
    • I would set a timer for 45 minutes for everyone to have in their Creativity Corner (including me-my computer/work time).
    • Then we had 15 minutes of “Shake it OUT!” time. Danced to ‘YMCA’, ‘I Will Survive’, and other lively music.
  • *Brilliant idea! Each one had a jar, filled with $10 in quarters. They would remove 1 quarter each time they would:
      • Interrupt.
      • Tattle
      • Have a running commentary (think before speaking!)
        • I would Remove 4 quarters for:
          • Lying
          • Fighting
          • Being mean

After a discussion about how it FEELS when lying, or manipulating their sibling, causing tears, and how it FEELS when CHOOSING to be kind and helpful, I had them create a KIND/Mean card. They wrote the word KIND on one side of a blank note card and Mean on the other side, and decorated them accordingly.

  • When they catch themselves CHOOSING to be KIND, they give themselves a hashmark on the KIND side.
  • When they CHOOSE to be Mean, and catch themselves, apologize and CHOOSE to switch to KINDNESS, they give themselves a hashmark on the KIND side.
  • When they CHOOSE to be Mean, they turn their card to the Mean side with a hashmark.
  • This is primarily for THEIR own conscience, not to gain adult approval.
  • This is about CHOOSING. About SELF-Discipline. About the Feelings, more than the actions.

At bedtime, they loved meditations/affirmations by Kids: https://youtu.be/90tJl8Ui3Uc & https://youtu.be/Bf0qDf-m9jw
My favorite: https://youtu.be/SJOLGwON0XI (This channel has dozens of meditations/affirmations from 5 min - 9 hours: Rising Higher)

Next time, we will learn about the chatterbox in our heads that never shuts up, and how to begin taming it….. without the verbal running commentary. I think I will have a showdown with them, speaking out loud my every thought, so we can laugh at how ridiculous it is. May these ideas Bless YOUR Family!

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