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Military Mom Talk Radio hosted by Sandra Beck and Robin Boyd welcomes Debbie Nichols of Deployed: Grandparents Being Parents, August 29

By Military Mom Talk RadioMotherhood Incorporated

Military Mom Talk Radio hosted by Sandra Beck and Robin Boyd welcomes Debbie Nichols of Deployed: Grandparents Being Parents.

How would you like to wake up one morning and have your entire lifestyle change?

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“That is what happened to me. My husband and I were empty nesters having the time of our life; kids were grown, doing what we wanted to do. Then our United States Air Force single parent daughter deployed to Afghanistan and we became the guardians to her two school age daughters.”

“We had to adjust to a completely different lifestyle and being a parent again, along with worrying about our daughter’s safety.”

“My story begins when I pick up my granddaughters in Arizona and move them to our home in California. We enroll them in school; learn how to be a parent in today’s society. I share how to adjust to sudden lifestyle change, military deployment, mixed emotions of missing my old life style, challenges of reuniting the family back to prior deployment, and my struggles of transforming back to being a grandmother again.”

“This was the biggest challenge in my life but the most rewarding”.

“When my daughter returned from her tour of duty I felt a need to reach out to military families facing deployment. The military prepares the spouses for deployment, but not the civilian guardians. Presently there is no information for guardians and I wanted to share my experiences and ways to make the deployment experience a positive one.”

“According to the 2008 US Census there over 4.5 million grandparents raising their grandchildren and the number is rising. There were two million military children that experienced their parents deployment and 250,000 military children went to a guardian to live.”

“Recently, I have had several friends become permanent guardians to their grandchildren, having to readjust their entire life style. Having that experience of sudden change and changing my empty nester lifestyle I felt I could help. Transitioning and adjusting to their new life can be very difficult. You didn’t sign up for this job, but your love drives you to take this huge responsibility. It is the most challenging, yet rewarding time of your life.”

Join Sandra and Robin this Monday to hear Debbie’s heartfelt story.  Doris Rivas-Brekke, roving reporter, will be back with News You Can Use.

Military Mom Talk Radio on airs on Mondays at 2pm Pacific Standard Time on Toginet Radio and can be downloaded directly from itunes and MilitaryMomTalkRadio.com.

Military Mom Talk Radio is co-hosted by Sandra Beck and Robin Boyd, creative director Doris Rivas-Brekke, hosted by Toginet Radio and powered by Motherhood Incorporated.  Military Mom Talk Radio supports and helps bring information to the families of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard and is dedicated to serving our friends and family at the following Army bases:  Fort Sill, Fort Bragg, Fort Carson, Fort Jackson, Fort Sam Houston, Fort Dix, Fort Campbell, Fort Belvoir, Eglin AFB, Shaw AFB, Fort Hood, Fort Eustis, Fort Leonard Wood, Redstone Arsenal and Fort Bliss. We would also like to honor our friends and family at the following over seas installations: Bahrain Administrative Support Unit, NATO Support Activity Belgium, Bad Kreuznach, Rhein-Main Air Base, Stuttgart/Robinson Barracks, Naval Forces Guam, Kadena Air Base, Torii Station, Aviano Air Base.  We would like to thank the Department of Defense for supplying guest and topics.

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Continuity Between Me, the Nanny, My Parents and the Babysitter by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck

 

My nanny lets the children eat in front of the TV. I don’ t. In the early days it caused countless rows. My nanny would babysit a few hours – and I’d return to my daughter sitting in front of cartoons with her dummy and a lap tray of Sweet Shopsnacks. “It’s not even that I begrudge her the junk food.” I’d say, exasperated “But she doesn’t stop nagging me for TV and cookies for two days afterwards”.  It was infuriating to see my precious, carefully constructed edifice of healthy parenting being cheerfully dismantled.

 

It’s a version of a fault-line that threatens to undermine many otherwise good childcare arrangements. At its heart is a very revealing question: are you looking for a carbon-copy of you to care for your child?

 

My argument was that toddlers in particular thrive on consistency. They like to be able to understand the rules of their world. It’s unfair for behavior to get a laugh in some circumstances and get punished in other circumstances.

 

On the other hand,  I think that the variety of personalities and approaches that my daughter has been exposed to balances her experience.  I was a bit shocked when one of the nursery-workers put nail varnish on my friend’s 3 year old daughter. However, objectively, I can see that her daughters yearning for pink and frilly far exceeds her mother’s ‘girliness’. A little bit of something sparkly on her nails helps her bond with her caregivers, and gives her some new input into her developing sense of individuality.

 

Here more than anywhere, it’s crucial to pick your battles. Car seats, holding hands across the roads, choking hazards – I repeat my messages emphatically again and again. However, this needs to be balanced with – frankly – not becoming a control freak. The childcare you choose is presumably competent, well intentioned and loving. Following too many of your rules ‘to the letter’ might actually thwart them in expressing their innate initiative and sparkle.

 

As my sons get older it has got easier with the grandparents, babysitters and nannies. “But Muuuum, Nana lets me” gets cut off with a brusuqe “Nana rules, darling. Now it’s Mummy rules”. I’ve become more secure that it’s my approach that sets the foundations for her. I’ve now mellowed to see that an afternoon eating chocolate sauce from the jar in front of cartoons is simply a holiday.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

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