Dear Grandparenting: Everything is changing so crazy fast in my family. My daughter Suzie finally cut the cord with the totally unfit father of my grandson Brent. Then she moved to Atlanta for a much better job.
I worry about her not knowing anyone or anything about Atlanta and she worries for my grandson. Brent turns nine in December. He starts up in a different school in a different state this fall. He has to make new friends, learn the ropes and fend for himself.
Here’s what gets me. Suzie says Brent needs “emotional intelligence” to cope. Emotional intelligence is what you need to control your feelings. This idea of getting smarter with feelings is a new one on me. Is this something important I should pay attention to or is my daughter getting too stressed to make sense? Jay Rosen, Belle Glade, Florida.
Dear Jay: A little emotional intelligence (EI) is too much to ask of many adults, much less an adolescent.
And while the jury is still out on how much it really matters, the drumbeat for EI is getting louder. Supporters contend that EI is more important than IQ for predicting significant outcomes in any given grandchild’s life.
The movement is an outgrowth of Daniel Goleman’s seminal 1995 book “Emotional Intelligence.” Individuals with enhanced EI are thought to perform better socially, and experience fewer emotional bumps that can disrupt or derail productive thought and action.
Schools that adopt social and emotional learning programs have seen measurable positive results in critical areas, says Goleman, including character education, violence prevention, anti-bullying, school discipline and academic performance. What grandparent wouldn’t go for that? We’ll stay tuned.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Grammy Moore from Kingsport, Tennessee, reports she is “figuring out this whole grandparenting thing on the fly.”
She totally understands what people say about becoming a grandparent. “Something comes over you. Wow, it is wonderful!”
“I can also tell you that just when a women thinks her work is about done, she becomes a grandparent.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.