— The importance of grandparents in the lives of children

 From our Grandparents’ Circle Steering Committee: Kay Beffa, Diane Sikes, Lilia “Toots” Bromley, Theresa Coughlin and Maryann McGuirk, who have been meeting regularly for the past year to create opportunities to honor and involve our grandparents and special friends in meaningful ways at Sea Crest.

Italian Proverb ~“If nothing is going well, call your grandparents.” As with many proverbs handed down through the generations, this one seems to have some truth!

Grandparents are very important people in the lives of their grandchildren and adult children. “The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is second in emotional importance only to the relationship between parent and child,” according to Dr. Karl Pillemer of Cornell University. Having grandparents involved in the lives of children offers tremendous benefits, for both the grandchildren and the grandparents.

Dr. Pillemer writes, “Research shows that as many as 9 out of 10 adult grandchildren feel their grandparents influenced their values and behaviors. Grandparents transmit to their grandchildren the values and norms of social order.” 

Sea Crest School welcomes grandparents on campus and their active involvement with their grandchildren’s school life – by volunteering in the classroom, on field trips, and in activities planned by our Grandparents’ Circle. We interviewed these wonderful grandparents to learn more about they connect with their grandchildren, what lessons they hope to teach them and if they have some advice to offer other grandparents. Here are some excerpts:

What activities do you do to connect with your grandchildren? 

“We write together, we are writing a book together. We share the love of music, we travel together, (he is) my best pal. I don’t see my older (grandchildren) often, but we communicate.”

“They are paying more attention to texting. If I need to make a connection, I text them. They respond quickly. People complain about texting and new tech, but I like it because it’s instant and an advantage to stay closer.”

“Making yourself available for whatever is needed: pickups, Drs’ appointments… parents are busy. I always try to be there for them.”

“Being on call. He invited me to go to the movies and paid with his card.”

Do you have long-distance grandchildren? How do you connect with them?

“I have 10-12 yr old grandchildren in LA and I created a fund for them. I also gave them a diary to write down how they are using their money. I’m trying to teach them money management.”

“I sent my granddaughters a treasure card. One of them bought an Apple watch. We spoil them, but we teach them.”

“We travel together every year to Tahoe. We create opportunities to have the whole family together if it can happen.”

What values or lessons do you hope to teach your grandchildren?

“Family”

“Social justice”

“Self-confidence”

“They always teach me something.”

“I believe in the Asian philosophy that passing on my values to reflect them who they are. If you are stubborn and passionate, I like to reflect back what you see and teach them to get to know themselves and stand up for who they are. It’s priceless for both.”

What advice do you have for other grandparents?

“Have one-on-one, thoughtful relationships.”

“Give them their own space, especially those (who live) nearby. I always call first.”

“Not to step on the parents’ toes. I’m always careful when giving advice to my grandchildren. You can’t be judgmental.”

“Parents need to vent, but sometimes they are not asking for advice. They are just sharing. They don’t need us to say anything, just listen.”

“Be engaged. This is what we are here for now. Help raise healthy children. Make them feel they are important. Our grandkids’ independence is admirable and deserves respect.”

The relationship between these generations offers an important marker for the kids: “A chance to be aware of themselves in the long generational line of people that led to them! “, said Diane Sikes to conclude the lovely conversation.

— In the News: Annual tradition draws grandparents from near and far

The Half Moon Bay Review published an article about our traditional winter concert and grandparents and special friends day — what a spectacular celebration of community!

2016-12-16-Winter-Concert-Grandparents-Special-Friends-Day-12By Kaitlyn Bartley

The performers belted out their hearts in front of perhaps the most devoted audience ever to attend a rock concert. Even in their red plush Santa hats, some vocalists were shorter than the microphones they sang into, but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd, where glowing iPhone and camera screens bobbed and waved with the music like hundreds of Bic lighters.

Clearly, the musicians had practiced extensively for their big day, but it was also clear from the proud smiles in the standing-room-only crowd that the performances brought far more joy than could be expected by just hitting right notes.

The event was Sea Crest School’s winter concert program, held the morning of its annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day. The audience included more than 100 grandparents who had traveled from as far as Texas, Massachusetts, and even the United Kingdom, for the yearly celebration.

Winter Concert

Winter Concert“I love the joy of the children,” said Anne Mingus, who traveled with her husband Bill from their retirement village near Modesto to hear their granddaughter. Femke, a first-grader at Sea Crest, performed Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” with her class.

At least some in the audience were relieved that rehearsing for the concert was over.

“We listened to a lot of Johnny Cash in the weeks leading up to the concert,” Femke’s father and Half Moon Bay resident Kory Mingus said with a laugh.

“We are so impressed with the school,” said Ardis Tobin, of Nevada City, who drove for five hours in the rain with her husband, Patrick, to hear their first-grade grandson sing. “It seems like a wonderful, safe place.”

With the guidance of the school’s newly formed Grandparents Circle, this year’s special event featured a morning concert with each grade singing hits from previous decades. Featured artists included Marvin Gaye, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Coldplay.

 2016-12-16-Winter-Concert-Grandparents-Special-Friends-Day-213After the concert, families gathered for a snack reception, took photos in a photo booth, and explored a then-and-now display, which featured household items from previous generations. Later in the morning, students showed off their classrooms to families and grandparents and built gingerbread houses.

Janet and Ron Reed, of El Granada, attended Grandparents Day to see their fifth-grade granddaughter perform songs by Cyndi Lauper and The Cure and visit their daughter, who herself is a fifth-grade teacher. Although this is only their second Grandparents Day, it has become one of the most special days of the year for them.

“We like to see all of the grandkids perform,” said Janet Reed. “It’s so wonderful.”

 

— A magical journey of music through generations

What a spectacular celebration of community at our Winter Concert and Grandparent and Special Friends Day! We enjoyed a magical journey through the decades with heartfelt songs of generations sung by our students. After the concert, our guests participated in classroom activities and enjoyed a Then and Now display created by members of our Grandparents’ Circle. We had well over 100 grandparents and special friends in attendance. Some coming from across the country from Texas and Massachusetts and others from as far away as the United Kingdom. We also welcomed our neighbors from Half Moon Village.

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We thank you for all your support of Sea Crest School now and throughout the year.
We wish you peace and joy during this holiday season and into the new year!


 

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