Sharon Lovejoy, botanist and educator, joined Wriggling In the Middle to discuss how to connect with grandchildren and steps to take to unplug and enjoy a more natural lifestyle.
Wriggling: What would you say is the best thing grandparents can do to connect with their grandchildren?
Sharon: There is only one word – time. Immersion and total interaction where you directly look into their eyes and talk to them, where you go outside and listen, touch and watch things. Time is the greatest gift we can give to anyone we love and it is very important with children. Make them feel as though they are elevated and that you are truly paying attention to them.
Wriggling: What are you suggestions for long-distance grand parenting?
Sharon: I really love old-fashioned mail, writing letters or illustrations to send to your grandchildren. I always tuck things into the mail I send to my grandchildren that capture their imagination. Skype is a wonderful thing, if you have the ability to use a computer Skype is an amazing connector. You can get them a scrapbook for them to save the cards you send, it will be a treasure for your grandchildren as they get older.
Wriggling: Why do you think it is important for children to experience ‘magic and wonder’?
Sharon: I think children are assailed from all sides from lots of violence in television, movies, video games, and cartoons. The simplest things we can give them are a gift to them and give them a sense of wonder. I think we have to slow down and let them become children again. What we do is have things like old-fashioned cookouts, go out starwatching, anything natural to give children a different sort of environment. Think of yourself going to a mountain cabin and what kind of stuff you would do there.
For the first seven years of her life, Sharon Lovejoy was introduced to the wonders of nature by her Quaker grandmother Abigail Lovejoy, a botanist and an educator. As an adult, Sharon’s passion for the natural world guided her to become an award winning nature, gardening, and children’s book author and water color illustrator
Interested in more from Sharon? Visit http://www.sharonlovejoy.com/CultivatingWonder/Biography.html for more or connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sharonlovejoy