Category: Grandparents


Black FridayThe melody “Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”  can be the most stressful time of the year.  With all the media hype and the pressure to give and receive presents, no wonder the FBI reports a jump in the crime rate in December. Have we lost the meaning of Christmas replaced it with Black Friday and the guilt of not having the money to play the Christmas game like seen on TV or social media? Children can sense the stress in parents, instead give more love and spend more time with the children; now that’s priceless, it’s not the expensive gadgets that are obsolete in a few years.

Alternatively, during the holiday season finding happiness can be found in teaching children to be kind and generous with charitable giving,  This could be a kind act of stopping to help a person in need, to making a monetary donation to a charity.  A study by Harvard School of Business “Feeling Good About Giving”, 2009, showed that people who gave charitably showed an increase in their level of happiness.

President George H. W. BushWhen George H. W. Bush was asked, what was his most successful achievement, he did not say Ambassador to China under President Reagan, CIA Director, nor the 41st President of the United States of America,  he said “my children still want to come home”

In the end, it’s not the money or “bling” that will make you sing, you can’t buy eternal peace and joy. Our families and friends are our most precious treasures, so give more time and love always.

By Carl Okuyama

Dad's with their children - Bonding in early childhood development

Parents love their children and want the best for them; our children become who we train them to be.  The wise quote below by an unknown Cherokee Indian says many things to parenting of children and the future of our communities.

The Battle Inside of Us – A Quote by Cherokee Indian

One evening an elderly Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between 2 “wolves” inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Cherokee Indian

Source: Unknown

The Planting Twos learning and remembering at genius speed

Photo by Kimberly Okuyama

Last month on their way to the airport, Amy said to our granddaughter Andee, “Grandma is going home to the Big Island”.  A few times since then, Andee has mentioned to her mother Kimberly, “gamma big island”.  Much to both Amy and Kimberly’s surprise,  Andee started using the words “Big Island” after hearing them only once.  Amy knows she had said “Big Island” to Andee only once during her stay in Honolulu; Kimberly never mentioned big island before.  Wow, kids at the age of two learn at tremendous speeds, a time period in early childhood I refer to as the “Planting Twos”.  What we say, do, and teach during this period will greatly impact their personalities, intelligence, and social life.

The “Planting Twos” is a wonderful time before preschool to teach about God, social morals, health and wellness, reading, music, science, mathematics, sports, obedience, kindness, sharing, caring for others, chores and rewards.  The Planting Twos are the golden teaching years in early childhood development.

These wonderful years are academically described by Barbara Rogoff, in her book The Apprenticeship of Thinking: Cognitive Development in Social Context.  The book is about guided participation by children and their companions. Barbara Rogoff is UC Santa Cruz Foundation Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Barbara Rogoff has held the University of California Presidential Chair and has been a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, a Kellogg Fellow, a Spencer Fellow, and an Osher Fellow of the Exploratorium.

By Carl Okuyama

Thank You grandpa and grandma for your helping in raising our family.

Thank You grandpa and grandma for your helping in raising our family.

September 8th is National Grandparent’s Day. Happy Grandparent’s Day to all the grandparents, have and wonderful day and give your grandchildren a big hug!  If that’s not possible call them over the phone and give them phone hugs or hopefully they’ll call you.   Here’s a nice story.

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Grandma May shared a wonderful moment with her granddaughter April, a toddler who recently became three years old.  One morning just before 7:30 am, April called grandma’s cell phone. Grandma recognized her son’s phone via Caller ID, answered it and heard the voice of her granddaughter April, who asked “where are you?”  Grandma replied “at work” and April replied  “bye!” which ended  the call.  What a short and sweet call to get from your grandchild!

It’s so joyful to know that your toddler grandchild misses you and goes out of her way to phone you.  April abruptly ended her call because she knows grandma cannot talk to her while working, a lesson and rule taught to her from grandma and her parents.  It’s pleasing  to hear how toddlers learn to obey their parents, an important rule that will help them through early childhood development.

At two to three years of age, toddlers begin to learn at genius speeds.  This is their “Planting Twos” years, and all they need is the sharing, teaching and loving discipline of their parents and loved ones.

May and her parents Mark and Olivia, nice, “pat on the back” and way to go!

By Carl Okuyama

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