Being Successful

Posted: March 15, 2003

One of the best ways to help children be successful is by your playing with them! Sounds pretty simple and it is.

Created by: Jane A. Landis, CFLE, M.Ed. Extension Agent, Dauphin County

Playing helps them develop and you to be: physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally active. Here are a few ideas that may help your grandchildren be “successful.”

Two year olds - love to hear the same thing over and over. Books can be a great way to develop these little minds. You can add sounds and motions to the stories and have even more fun together.

Four and five year olds - Games are great learning tools. Throw in some running and jumping, and they will get lots of exercise and grow physically as well as mentally.

Six and seven year olds - The ground work for self-esteem is laid at an early age. Now is a good time to support and build on the child’s emerging self-confidence. Together, do some creative projects and make sure you compliment the efforts - not just the end product.

Eight and nine year olds - Friends are important to this group, so why not host one of those sleepovers with a cousin or two who is about the same age. That way you get to enjoy two grandchildren for the “price of one.”

Ten to twelve year olds – Children at this age are usually computer wizards. Many grandparents have computers and this is a perfect opportunity to get free lessons from the “experts.” If you don’t have a computer, take a trip to the library and have them use the computer to order books you both might enjoy.

Thirteen to fifteen year olds – “Independent” describes this age. You may feel you don’t have a role in their lives now, but you do. You are helping them connect to the past and are helping mold the future. Make sure you stay connected emotionally -- ask about what’s “IN” and avoid criticizing the way they dress. It will be fun to get out the family album and perhaps look at what you wore as a teen and what their parents wore. You know how fashions repeat themselves.

Sixteen to twenty year olds – This is a time of major growth — physically, socially, and emotionally. They feel ready for the world. There will be challenges in most of the house rules and conflicts particularly as this age group prepares to leave home. You can be the extra set of ears and reassure them they will be successful in what they do. After all, they are your grandchildren!

Children Can Be Successful

  • Physically: building strong muscles and healthy bones
  • Mentally: learning how to think and develop reasoning skills
  • Socially: learning to play and work together in the family
  • Emotionally: understanding their feelings and emotions