The following is an excerpt from the book
Grandparenting: Renew, Relive, Rejoice.
“Six Points of Mindful Speech: Speak slowly, enunciate clear- ly, be concise, listen to yourself, listen to others, use silence as a part of speech.”
It’s important to be aware of our words, as well as our tone and volume. When we speak to our grandchildren in a calm, nonjudgmental “inside voice,” we are modeling how we would like them to speak to us and everyone else. It is not only what we say, but also how we say it, that makes an impact.
- Play the “tone” game with your grandchildren. Say something nice in an angry voice. Say something not so nice in a sweet tone. Discuss how tone affects each one of us. How do they feel when someone speaks to them with a frustrated attitude?
- Instead of raising your voice or speaking in an annoyed manner when your grandchildren tune you out, walk over to them, get on their level, look them in the eye, and mindfully reiterate your request.
- When you are unhappy with the way your grandchildren speak to you, ask them to repeat their comments in a more respectful manner. Reinforce with positive feedback.
- Do not monopolize a conversation. Silence and listening are powerful tools. Know when to speak up and when to hold back.
“About eight years ago my son, Aaron, his son, Eli, and I went to the park late at night to gaze at the stars and to view the Hale-Bopp Comet. It was very dark and very quiet. It was one of those exceptional moments where I could bond with my son and grandson without the extraneous distractions that usually mar that kind of special moment. Eli, then three years old, asked to look through the oversized binoculars. As he held the large binoculars to his eyes, without falling backward, he stood in silent amazement as he looked at the stars. All of a sudden, he yelled out, ‘WOW! I SEE EARTH!’ That was a magical moment that I will treasure forever.” ~ Grandpa Ronnie