Archive for the ‘Across-generations’ Category

Children Cherish “Grandparents”

September 17th, 2016 Comments off


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


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

Grandparents Day 2016

September 11th, 2016 Comments off


For Grandparents

…And All Who Love Children

 How many times had I voiced the opinion that Grandparents greatly exaggerated their descriptions of their grandchildren? No child could be so cute or so intelligent or so clever as the one they describe.

Well, I began to eat those words nine years ago. Certainly I became more sympathetic towards those wonderful people. You see, I was also about to join that exclusive club of grandparenting. At the time friends must have been saying, “If she is like this before the child is born, what will she be like later when the baby is here?” Actually, I asked myself the same question as I chatted about the grandchild to be.

Knowing what a low tolerance level I had towards doting grandparents before knowing that I would be one, I have decided to make up for it and write a daily blog during this month of Grandparents Day. It is for Age-Esteemers who are grandparents and those who love being surrogate grandparents. Many of the blogs were written when our first grandchild was born. I will publish them as written at the time.

Bonnie Fatio


August 9th, 2016 Comments off



“This is a youth-oriented society, and the joke is on them because youth is a disease from which we all recover.”Dorothy Fulheim

1st International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

June 19th, 2016 Comments off


Today marks the First International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, June 19, 2016.

Sexual violence in conflict touches all ages and damages lives for ever. Yet rape and sexual violence have only recently been recognised as a war crime and a crime against humanity. Join me in recognising the importance of this day.

Bonnie Fatio


Are You Lonely?

June 11th, 2016 Comments off


Are You Lonely?

People with age esteem know it is important to have friends from diverse generations. As we get older, friends of our own generation and older may no longer be present to visit and chat. It is important to have younger friends as well.

This was again brought to my attention when a friend sent me the following story from an English newspaper.

“An elderly couple called 999 because they were lonely and officers responded by going round for a cup of tea.

Two police constables from Greater Manchester Police were sent to the home of Fred Thomson and his 95-year-old wife after she called the emergency services suggesting her husband was having difficulties.

The police constable said he and a colleague arrived at the house believing the husband may have had a fall but found “the couple did not need medical attention and in fact the call had been made out of desperation”.

The couple offered the officers a cup of tea. They were desperate for conversation and the presence of others.”

Remain in contact with your friends and call on them when you want company. Invite them over for a cup of coffee or tea. I have several older friends who do this regularly, and I am always delighted when I am able to spend time with them. I also invite friends of multiple generations to my home. I treasure their friendships.

Are you lonely? Then either get out of the house and go where you will see others or phone a friend to come visit. Chances are others are lonely, too. Share your age esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

Cookies, Milk And A Nap

May 24th, 2016 Comments off

milk and cookies

Cookies, Milk And A Nap

“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.”Barbara Jordan

This Is Your Lucky Day!

May 21st, 2016 Comments off

Lucky Day

This Is Your Lucky Day!

On a recent flight to the U.S. from Switzerland I was seated towards the front of the plane for the 11-hour flight. As is often the case when I fly, I boarded the plane early and stood next to my place and watched passengers as they boarded.

More often than not travellers think that I am one of the flight attendants. This is probably because my travelling attire is a navy blue pantsuit. Passengers ask me all kinds of questions that I sometimes answer. I pride myself in knowing that row 46 is most assuredly towards the back of the plane, etc. There are also some destinations that I prefer because of the attitude of the travellers from those areas, especially in Midwestern U.S. People from those regions bring basic values on board with them. They are happy to help others and are exceptionally polite to the flight attendant’s double – me.

As often happens on full flights, families get separated with seats scattered throughout the aircraft. This happened on one of my flights to Minneapolis from Amsterdam. A grandfather was seated alone in the center section where he would definitely need assistance to get out. When one of the daughters started showing stress over the situation, the young woman next to the grandfather smiled and said that it would be no problem. She would take care of him. She and the grandfather, who were just across the isle from me, had such a good time that neither even slept. And, when it was time to disembark, the elderly gentleman would offer his arm only to his young seat mate to help him out.

Let’s now return to the front of the plane on this same flight. Two rows in front of me was a couple sitting together and chatting. Shortly a woman came and announced loudly to the man, “I think you are in my assigned seat!” It was an excellent seat with extra legroom so I anticipated that he might try to keep it. Indeed he did, but not in the way that one would anticipate. He leaned towards the woman and said, “I am, and this is your lucky day! I have just bumped into this old friend of mine and since I would like to sit with her I am offering you my assigned seat – in business class.” She obviously did not argue, but graciously accepted the exchange.

I like his expression. “This is your lucky day”. So often unexpected experiences do transform our day into a “lucky day”.

Bonnie Fatio

What Do Others Think Of Us?

May 3rd, 2016 Comments off


What Do Others Think Of Us?

“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us; at 40, we don’t care what they think of us; at 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.”Bob Hope

How much time do we worry about such useless matters? Another saying I think is excellent says, “What you think of me is none of my business.” – Anon

“All that really matters is what I think of myself.” – Bonnie Fatio