Interviewing Sue Johnson

{mosimage}Lauren Smith:  Why did you write this book?

Sue Johnson:  Our first grandson was born on the West coast and we were on the East coast. Despite the distance we wanted to be part of this little boy's life. After looking in the library and bookstores for a good guide to grandparenting and not finding anything helpful, I commented to Julie, my daughter-in-law that, "I can write a better book than what is out there!"  To that Julie replied, "Well, Mom, just do it" and quickly added, "How would you like a co-author?"  We started the next week outlining and forming a questionnaire that I mailed to 150 grandparent friends all over the world.  That snowballed into over 350 responses, so we knew there was a need and that we had struck a cord.  We used the best ideas that came in from many caring families who shared what had worked for them as the cornerstone of Grandloving.

Lauren Smith:  What do you hope grandparents learn from this book?

Sue Johnson:  Over 200 fun and inexpensive ways to turn your grandchild's mailbox into a treasure chest whether you live next door or across the world!  

eminders about the stages of child development.
Heartfelt ideas for holidays, visits back and forth and family traditions.
Tips for being the grandparent every child wants and thoughtful ways to strengthen family relationships…Helpful resources and wonderful books to share with your grandchildren.

Lauren Smith:   Do you think grandparents really need an instruction manual? And if so, why?

Sue Johnson:  Our mission is to inspire grandparents from many different backgrounds and circumstances to make their own unique memories with their grandchildren.  Grandloving is about taking the time to rock a new grandbaby, share a sideways grin with a grandtoddler, exchange recipes with a school age granddaughter, and chat with a grandteen about his dreams. In our hectic world, with many parents struggling to keep up with work and further education, grandparents are a wonderful and much-needed source of such gestures of love and acceptance.  Even more important, every caring grandparent is a reminder that a precious family history is unfolding right now – and that the richness of the family story in progress depends on relaxed togetherness and fun.

Lauren Smith:   What are some quick things grandparents can do right now to create special memories with their grandchildren?

Sue Johnson:  Paste a photo of you and your grandchild onto a piece of cardboard, cut it into puzzle pieces appropriate to the age of your grandchild, and pop it in an envelope with the note,  "Put this together and see who loves and misses you!"
•    Pop a "balloon message" in the mail to your grandchild – slip a note in a balloon or blow it up, write a message on it and then deflate and mail it.  Either way the balloon will have to be blown up to read what you've written!
•    Send a riddle in the mail one day and the answer the next.
•    Make a collage of family photos, laminate it at Kinkos and send it to your grandchild so you'll be there smiling up from under the plate of spaghetti!

The trick is keeping the communication alive, fun and frequent.  What you send isn't as important as that you communicate frequently…call, send emails, faxes…whatever it takes to stay in touch!

Lauren Smith:  What has surprised you the most about being a publishing author?

Sue Johnson:  That writing the book was just the beginning of a fabulous journey of meeting and helping many families all over the world.  

Lauren Smith:  What's next for you? More books? More editions of this one?

Sue Johnson:  Our readers continually send us new ideas, so at some point there will be a new updated 5th edition.

One Response to “Grandloving”

  1. Larry says:

    Grandloving is now in its 5th edition, and is even better than before! Every grandparent should have a copy.

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