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Elder Abuse

November 27th, 2018 No comments

Elder Abuse

While riding a city bus in Geneva, Switzerland, I was fascinated by a video clip with the Helpline for people experiencing domestic violence. What caught my attention was the message of an older woman saying, “Since my husband has retired, he controls everything I do. I’ve had enough.”

There are many types of violence, and older persons are often abused physically, psychologically, sexually, and financially. This includes neglect, violation of rights, denial of privacy, and denial to participate in making decision.

Keeping in mind that throughout the world, 1 million people reach the age of 60 years every month, there is real concern that mistreatment of elders will increase.

So, what can you do?

  • Become aware of what mistreatment of older people means so you can recognize it.
  • Download this report from the United Nations to learn how to recognize abuse and what to do about it..
  • Know your rights and seek help if you, or someone around you is being abused.
  • Find out what services are available in your community to help prevent further violence and mistreatment. Speak to your healthcare professional, church leader, social services, Helpline, elder abuse prevention center.
  • Remember to practice the techniques and concepts of AgeEsteem. The more confident and happier you are as you age, the greater your sense of self-worth and your expectation of being treated with respect and dignity.

No one should have to experience violence, abuse or mistreatment, at any age.

Bonnie Fatio

 

I Will Never Be A Grandparent

September 12th, 2018 Comments off

No Grandchildren

Although planned parenthood may exist, planned grandparenthood does not. We have no control over whether or not we will become a grandparent. Though some of us may have made that decision by not having children of our own, or were unable to have children of our own, many who do have children have no grandchildren. It is not our decision to make.

For some this is fine. They are happy in life without grandchildren. For many, though, it is something they miss. Grandchildren seem to be the natural assurance of life continued to future generations. It may be the end of our DNA being passed on, however our legacy continues in multiple ways.

When a financial expert asked me what I wanted to leave to my three grandchildren, my spontaneous response had nothing to do with DNA or with finances. It had to do with values, experiences shared, and memories created. Yes, these related to my grandchildren; they could also relate to other children with whom I have repeated contact.

If you suffer because you do not have grandchildren, make space for other children in your life. Many children do not have grandparents or other older people in their lives. You can help fill that need.

  • Are there families in your neighborhood or among your colleagues who would welcome your presence in their lives? Many parents, especially single parents, work long days and have little energy left when they return home.
    • Ask parents if you could invite their little ones for cookies and milk after school.
    • Would they welcome help with homework, babysitting, making dinner?
  • Volunteer your services to the Scout troop, local school, library, church or sports center to help with projects, story hour, or after-school programs.
  • Go to the playground often and chat with the mothers and fathers. Get to know them and let them know you. Slowly find out what their needs are and how you might assist them with the children.
  • If you are blessed to have nieces and nephews, build relationships with them. Plan events with them such as going to the circus or museum or a picnic in the park. Send them notes and speak often.
  • Join a community mentoring program for the underprivileged.

Children need older people in their lives. We bring a perspective and dimension that is otherwise missing. If you want to have grandchildren in your life and don’t, then reach out to other children. It will also enhance your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

 

Happy Grandparent’s Day!

September 9th, 2018 Comments off

 

What memories do you have of your grandparents? Were they present in your life?

When my sister googled one of the homes we lived in as children, she discovered that it was for sale, and there were photos showing each room. One of our common memories was having the grandparents come for Christmas one year, which was exceptional.  We rarely saw them more than once a year, when we visited them in the summer. So, having them with us for the holidays was truly special.

Our other grandparents lived close enough for us to travel to spend Thanksgiving in their home. I still can smell turkey and mince pie and feel the warmth and excitement of being with the other cousins for the day. We did not have mobile phones and i-pads back then with apps allowing us to see each other despite the distance, and these gatherings were precious to us.

Grandparents are important. They are the foundation of the larger family, and often the glue that holds it together. Today Grandparents around the globe are caring for and often raising their grandchildren due to the parent’s illness, busy career, and lack of funds for daycare as well as divorces where a single parent must do all.

In a poll of children answering questions about their grandparents, I learned that grandparents are seen to also be good listeners and less judgmental. We tend to be more available to our grandchildren when we are with them. Our love and interest in our grandchildren differ from that of a parent and adds a valuable dimension to the emotional and intellectual education of our grandchildren.

Happy Grandparent’s Day!

Bonnie Fatio

We Can Encourage The Younger Generation

March 19th, 2018 Comments off

What can the older generation do in order to support and encourage the younger generation?

Do you have a favorite recipe that you have perfected for many years? Maybe something that can only be taught in the kitchen, or with a pinch of this and a dash of that. This is a great opportunity to develop highly transferable skills, from hands-on math conversions to staying with a project from beginning to end. Remember, those messy young sous chefs will one day cook entire meals for their family and friends.

Do you carry with you a wealth of childhood stories? With your stories you can give the younger generation an insight into the lifestyle of your childhood. You can teach what books cannot! These stories pass on life lessons that allow the younger generation to become a part of something larger than themselves.

Have you encountered difficult people in your life? Think about how many different types of people you have had to interact with. You have a wealth of experience and know a lot about behavior and manners that the younger generation has not yet acquired. Use your experiences and examples to encourage and support the younger generation with problematic relationships. Teach them techniques to respond instead of react when interacting with impossible people.

Are you a great motivator? Can you move the younger generation from the couch and video games to a more active lifestyle? Be creative! Encourage outside activities such as splashing in muddy puddles, tossing a ball, gardening and the good old fashioned games of tag and hide-and-seek. Give the younger generation a better line of sight on how their actions make a measurable difference in their own happiness.

The energy of the younger generation mixed with the experience of the older generation can do wonders in a society!

I challenge you to take an interest in the younger generation by passing on your AgeEsteem and making a positive difference in the youth of today.

A Grandparent’s Role With the Grandkids

March 8th, 2018 Comments off

When a grandparent holds their newborn grand-baby for the first time, there’s an emotional high that’s almost beyond description. The wonder and love felt at that time is forever remembered with a smile.

You feel a new and different kind of love towards this sweet, innocent, warm baby…a new level of love. It’s magical and joyful! Why a different kind of love? You suddenly get this feeling of immortality and the comfort that somehow, some way, a part of YOU will live on through this precious little one.

As a modern-day grandparent what role do you play?

Grandparents have always played an important role in family life; the historian, the mentor, a role model, a friend. However, over the last twenty years, grandparents have had increased responsibility for their grandchildren due to changes in society and a larger number of single parent households. These responsibilities might include activities such as getting young children ready for school in the mornings, providing full-time child care for preschoolers, or serving as a custodial parent. As a grandparent, in this modern-day family, your role is unique and important. You are not just “another babysitter,” but have a fundamental connection with your grand-kids. Make the most of those special days!

Grandchildren bring energy, laughter, optimism, love and purpose to the lives of their grandparents. While grandparents act as an authority figure and provide unconditional love, they also wield incredible influence and get to spoil their grand-kids in a way parents simply can’t.

I encourage you to keep the connection active and alive no matter what the current circumstances may be. Let your imagination go wild, make it a point to send colorful cards or magazine gift subscriptions. Utilize technology and keep that link going through Facetime, Skype or old fashion telephone calls. The bottom line is to keep the constant connection with your grandchildren. Everyone is blessed because of it!

David Shriner-Cahn’s interview with Bonnie Smashing the Plateau

January 9th, 2017 Comments off

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Listen to the Interview

Bonnie Fatio wants you to embrace your age, realize your worth, and start reaching your full potential. As an internationally recognized motivational speaker (and Founder of AgeEsteem®), Bonnie knows how to transform people into their best selves – not to mention powerful leaders. Today she reveals how to harness your individuality and share your genius with the world.

Topics include:

  • Learning from the past to push yourself forward
  • Becoming who you are instead of who you should be
  • Stepping into your own leadership power
  • Visions vs. goals
  • Why you always need professional help (and where to find it)

A Time To Remember

October 30th, 2016 Comments off

Version 2Four of the women who have influenced my life.

A Time To Remember

“We stand on the shoulders of those who go before us.” Kenyan Proverb

In many parts of the world a day set aside each year to remember those who have died, those who have gone before us. All Saints Day, following Halloween is one such a day. It is a time to remember those who have positively influenced our lives, whether or not they were people we knew personally.

Each person leaves a legacy. And no matter how great or small their imprint may seem to the masses, to a chosen few that imprint has been inspirational.

When I think of my own mother I am overwhelmed by the richness of all she taught me through her actions and her words. She has not been written up in history books, yet she positively influenced the lives of a multitude of youth as a teacher, and families through her church work. Her outreach increased even further when she authored seven books after taking early retirement due to diminished vision. (Yes, she wrote her books typing on an old state-of-the-art Smith-Corona despite severely impaired vision.)

You, too, have people in your life who may seem insignificant to the world at large, but who have been important to your growth into the person you have become. Take a moment to remember each of these people and to be thankful.

People with age-esteem are grateful for those who have influenced their lives.

Bonnie Fatio

Children Cherish “Grandparents”

September 17th, 2016 Comments off

on-the-beach

Children Cherish “Grandparents”

When I posted the above photo of me with my great-nephews on the AgeEsteem website, I received so many positive comments that I know there are multitudes of you who feel like I do. Children are one of the joys of life.

Children also cherish contact with older people. It is natural for them to gravitate towards us. It is as though they realize that we offer an additional dimension to living. Certainly we are different from their parents in multiple ways, including having time to listen to them.

I listened to a radio interviewer question children of diverse ages on how they would describe their grandparents or whoever they relate to in that way. One of the strongest common characteristics was that a grandparent was someone who listened. Really listened. It was a person who took time to show interest in them by listening to them actively without overt judgement.

What a powerful role this is! Imagine the importance of having someone listen to you without judgement. It means that you are able to truly share your thoughts and to sort out your own thinking by speaking these thoughts and sharing them with another person who you trust.

Bonnie Fatio

A Grandparent’s Influence

September 15th, 2016 Comments off

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A Grandparent’s Influence

How did your grandparents influence your life? With these blog messages I would like to include special memories from you of how a grandparent has influenced your life. It will provide an opportunity to share role models and to learn some of the “tricks of the trade” from others.

When I was attending Michigan State University, I would sometimes visit my paternal grandparents who lived in nearby Holt. They always impressed me with their knowledge of current events. They even knew how many points my present boyfriend, who was a basketball star, had scored in the most recent game. I misunderstood this interest to mean that they would like to meet him and suggested bringing him to the house.

I will never forget my grandmother’s words. “Bonnie, if this is the man that you are going to respect and trust, and who you will be proud to call the father of your children, then we would like to meet him.”

I did not introduce him. The only young man I did introduce to them is the man I married, my husband of 51 years who our daughter and son-in-law are proud to have as the grandfather of their children.

Grandma’s words still ring in my mind as I thank her for the wisdom.

Do you have an example of how one of your grandparents influenced your life through simple words? – Words that you heard because the person had listened to you and responded with wisdom in a non-judgemental way? I would love to receive these stories and to be able to share many of them via this blog.

Bonnie Fatio

Grandparents Play Important Roles

September 13th, 2016 Comments off

couple of lovers hold red heart

Grandparents Play Important Roles

Grandparents play an important role in the lives of children around the globe.

In many countries around the world grandparents are taking on a greater role in the care of their grandchildren. An increasing number of grandparents in the United States and in Europe have taken on the role of surrogate parents to their grandchildren for multiple reasons, including the larger number of single parent households.

In sub-Saharan Africa the care of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS is often taken on by grandparents as many of the generation in between has been wiped out by the disease. Without grandparents, for many children there would be no family.

Grandparents are also being brought into schools as volunteers to tutor students. An example of this is Experience Corps which has volunteers in 12 cities in the U.S. The average age of a volunteer is 65 and most of them volunteer between 10 and 15 hours a week. Among the extra benefits is the greater self-confidence children gain as a result of this loving attention.

Research at the University of Oxford, UK, by Professor Ann Buchanan shows a strong correlation between grandparental involvement and the increased the well being of children, particularly adolescences. Children with a high level of grandparental involvement had fewer emotional and behavioral problems.

Yes, as grandparents we have an important role to play in the lives of children, both our own grandchildren and other children.

Bonnie Fatio