Therapeutic Interventions

1. Provide encouragement and support to the parents when the grandchild is born. (1, 2)

2. Interact with the grandchild on a regular basis. (3, 4)

1. Advise the grandparents of the importance of providing celebratory support during and after each grandchild's birth, according to the parent's wishes (e.g., hospital visits, respite care, phone calls).

2. Instruct the grandparents to participate in the grandchild's birth celebration according to family and cultural customs (e.g., bringing gifts, preparing food, attending the baptism or other birth ritual).

3. Instruct the grandparents to bond with their grandchildren through interactive activities and

Show interest in the grandchildren and their achievements through attending their special activities and discussing their interests with them. (5, 6)

Share family history, personal experiences, and values with the grandchildren. (7, 8)

Implement strategies for establishing and maintaining a loving, long-distance relationship with the grandchildren. (9, 10)

projects (e.g., reading, playing with games or toys, outdoor activities).

4. Assign the grandparents to plan a mystery trip (e.g., apple orchard, hay ride, nature walk) for their grandchildren to encourage bonding and to build mutual memories.

5. Encourage the grandparents to attend sports events, school presentations, recitals and special events to support and acknowledge their grandchildren's participation.

6. Instruct the grandparents to demonstrate an interest in their grandchild's achievement by discussing school and activity performance and affirming progress shown.

7. Advise the grandparents to share with the grandchildren their knowledge of personal, family, and cultural history.

8. Instruct the grandparents to model personal values by demonstrating ethical behavior in the presence of the grandchildren and by relating stories and examples of values portrayed by other family members.

9. Assign the grandparents to build a relationship with grandchildren who live far away by using the mail and technology to keep in touch.

10. Assign the grandparents to arrange for regularly scheduled visits with distant grandchildren in their own home, in the

6. Discuss and explore parenting concepts and strategies with the grandchild's parents. (11, 12, 13)

7. Verbally affirm the adult children's efforts to parent responsibly. (14, 15, 16)

grandchildren's home, and/or by meeting at a halfway location.

11. Instruct the grandparents to attend a parenting class with their adult children (e.g., Becoming a Love and Logic Parent by Fay, Cline, and Fay) and to discuss opportunities for applying the strategies with the grandchildren.

12. Encourage the grandparents to read parenting books and literature endorsed by their adult children (e.g., Kids are Worth It! by Coloroso) to encourage development of effective strategies for relating to the grandchildren.

13. Advise the grandparents to seek an understanding of their adult children's parenting philosophy and to implement the parents' child-management strategies that are healthy and productive when caring for the grandchildren.

14. Instruct the grandparents to verbally affirm their adult children's efforts to parent responsibly.

15. Assign the grandparents to support their adult children by pointing out their strengths and efforts during conversations with the grandchildren (e.g., "Your mom sure does love you"; "Your dad spends a lot of time supporting your interest in tennis.").

16. Instruct the grandparents to discuss child management

Verbally reinforce the adult children for responsibly managing their family's financial, social, and emotional needs. (17, 18)

9. Agree to offer child-care based on available time, energy, and interest. (19, 20)

10. Offer assistance to the adult children and grandchildren differences with their adult children privately, come to an agreement that both can support, and then form a united front when dealing with the grandchildren.

17. Instruct the grandparents to encourage their adult children to manage their family finances responsibly by showing empathy and concern when there is a problem but refusing to rescue them by solving the problem for them.

18. Assign the grandparents to use a problem solving process with adult children and grandchildren when their assistance is requested (e.g., listen with compassion, brainstorm ideas for solution, examine the pros and cons of each strategy, let them decide how and when to solve the problem).

19. Inform the grandparents that child care provided on a regular bases should be offered based on their ability and willingness to give of their personal time and energy and should be set up by establishing a specific written or verbal agreement with their adult children.

20. Advise the grandparents to enter into extended child-care situations cautiously and assist them to list the potential positive and negative aspects before agreeing to long-term or permanent child-care.

21. Instruct the grandparents to support their adult children and in times of personal and family trauma. (21, 22, 23)

11. Extend financial assistance, housing and other resources according to personal ability to provide and the nature of the adult child and grandchildren's needs. (24, 25)

12. Prevent the development of entitlement attitudes from

grandchildren during times of emotional upheaval and trauma (e.g., loss of a job, eviction, divorce) by actively listening to their distress and offering empathy and a willingness to help.

Advise the grandparents against taking sides or speaking critically about the parents to their grandchildren during a divorce or custody battle and to offer assurance that their grandparents' love will always remain constant.

Assign the grandparents to prepare for helping the grandchildren deal with personal and family trauma by reading Parenting with Wit and Wisdom in Times of Chaos and Loss (Coloroso).

Advise the grandparents to offer specific help when their adult child's family is in crisis (e.g., "I can buy the groceries for six weeks; I can watch the kids every other weekend; you can live with us for six months.").

Assign the grandparents to research information about extending their grandparenting roles by contacting relevant organizations (e.g., AARP Grandparent Information Center: (800) 424-3410 or /programs/gic.html, The Foundation for Grandparenting:

26. Instruct the grandparents to limit excessive gift giving and favors

the adult children or grandchildren by moderating gift giving and indulgences. (26, 27)

Set limits and establish household rules for the grandchildren when they visit. (28, 29, 30)

Implement strategies of positive discipline that encourage independence and responsible behavior from the grandchildren. (31, 32, 33, 34)

to the grandchildren by giving smaller, lower priced presents, and giving gifts of time, attention, and love rather than material presents.

27. Advise the grandparents to consult with their adult children regarding appropriate gifts, favors, and contributions to the grandchildren that will be truly appreciated.

28. Assign the grandparents to establish a set of household rules and procedures and to communicate these to the adult children and the grandchildren before they visit.

29. Advise the grandparents to specifically state their rules in advance to avoid confusion (or assign the "Parents' Rules vs. Grandparents' Rules" activity from the Parenting Skills Homework Planner by Knapp).

30. Instruct the grandparents to grant privileges based on the child's demonstrated level of competence and responsibility (e.g., child crosses street alone after mastering safety rules, child allowed to play with fragile doll collection after exhibiting cautious behavior).

31. Assign the grandparents to teach responsible behavior to their grandchildren by implementing the "Four Steps to Responsibility" outlined by Cline and Fay in Grandparenting with Love and Logic (e.g., (1) Give the child a chance to act responsibly, (2) wait for a mistake to create a

15. List personal boundaries and parameters for involvement with the grandchildren and verbally express them to their parents. (35, 36)

learning opportunity, (3) use a consequence to teach a more appropriate behavior, (4) allow the child the same opportunity to act responsibly as soon as possible).

32. Advise grandparents to avoid power struggles with their grandchildren by expressing clearly defined expectations and using contingency management strategies that make privileges dependent upon compliance (e.g., "Feel free to use the computer after you've helped me with the dishes.").

33. Advise the grandparents that empathy and compassion when combined with a logical consequence (e.g., "You spilled the milk, that's too bad. Please get a cloth and clean it up.") is significantly more powerful and effective than anger combined with punishment (e.g., "You spilled the milk. Go to your room, now!").

34. Instruct the grandparents to build their grandchildren's decision-making skills and sense of responsibility by offering them many controlled choices whenever they visit (e.g., "Join me for a ball game or a movie.").

35. Assign the grandparents to create a list of personal expectations for their involvement with the grandchildren (or assign the "Personal Boundaries for Interaction with the Grandchildren" activity from the Parenting Skills Homework Planner by Knapp).

16. Remain assertive, proactive, and compassionate when discussing issues of concern or controversy with the adult children and the grandchildren. (37, 38)

36. Instruct the grandparents to use "I" or "we" statements when informing the grandchildren or their parents of a personal boundary (e.g., "I can let you borrow the car for two hours, after that I need to run errand; We can take the kids on Sunday but on Saturday we're working on the house.").

37. Advise the grandparents to discuss controversial issues openly with their adult children and to brainstorm for solutions that are acceptable to both parties.

38. Assign the grandparents to engage in active listening without giving advice or becoming antagonistic when an adult child or grandchild expresses a problem or concern.

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