Life Is Grand: Family Colors

Enjoying Life as a Staten Island Grandparent

Enjoying Life as a Staten Island Grandparent

October 2014-- From my own parents to my children to my grandson, I have observed three generations of cultural growth and discovery.

My family was, as were most of my peers’ families, good, hardworking people who immigrated to America from Italy. Pretty much everyone they knew was very much like them: they looked and spoke alike and had the same customs. When they met or interacted with other races or religions, the unfamiliar made them nervous and an invisible guard went up.

Many of today’s grandparents and seniors have been Americans for decades and they have shared experiences with all kinds of people. Hopefully, a mosaic has formed that connects us to our global neighbors more than ever. As the next older generation, we still have a job to do.

It’s has been over sixty years since Rosa Park stood up for her rights and thankfully that sort of legalized injustice is no longer an issue. Remember, if prejudice is learned, so is acceptance and kindness. Our grandchildren will base friendships more on values and interests if taught to treat all people with respect.

Judging by the amount of different ethnic restaurants in Staten Island and the amount of children who know what sushi is, I believe we have a springboard for learning just by the foods we eat!

Here are a few tips from Beyond the Golden Rule: Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice

  • Acknowledge differences. Emphasize the positive aspects of our different languages, music, and cooking. Also, be honest about instances, historical and current, when people have been mistreated because of their differences.
  • Challenge intolerance. If your grandchild says or does something indicating bias or

prejudice, don’t meet the action with silence. Silence indicates acceptance, and

a simple command — “Don’t say that” — is not enough. First try to find the root of the

action or comment: “What made you say that about Adam?” Then, explain why the

action or comment was unacceptable.

  • Foster pride. Talk to your grandchild about your family heritage to encourage self-knowledge

and a positive self-concept.

  • When dealing with teenage grandchildren, try to stay involved. Messages about differences exist all around teens: the Internet, songs, music videos, reality shows, ads and commercials, social cliques at school. Know and join some of the websites. Even my 84 year-old mom enjoys Facebook.
  • Encourage your teenage grandchildren to get involved in causes they care about. As mature adults, we are able to teach them how to have a voice in their community and to empower them to help resolve issues of injustice.

Remember, as we speak, 3-year-olds are still curious about why people look different, 9-year-olds are being called a slur because of their religion, and 15-year-olds are being snubbed by those outside of their social clique at school.

The time to learn, evolve and grow is now, my friends. The world is truly getting smaller and the expectation for our grandkids is only getting bigger. As grandparents, we must model positive values with an open heart and a willingness to work for change.

By Staten Islander Marianna Randazzo, who is an author, educator, as well as a newly minted grandmother. 

 

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  1. Opera Classes

    October 18
    October 18, 2017  |  12:00 am - 11:59 pm
    Garibaldi-Meucci Museum
    Lou Barrella. Class meets weekly from October 11 to November 15. Please contact the museum for more details.
  2. THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow

    October 18 @ 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Staten Island Mall
    Staten Island Mall in New Springville will host THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow, a highly visual, educational and free traveling installation of larger than life LEGO replicas of some of our nation’s most beloved landmarks. Ten one-of-a-kind, large scale models of
  3. Greenbelt Peepers

    October 19 @ 9:45 am
    October 19, 2017  |  9:45 am - 9:45 am
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Through hands-on activities, crafts, and stories, two year-olds and their caregivers will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the forest. Space is limited. Registration required. Fee: $3 per child/Free for Greenbelt Conservancy
  4. THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow

    October 19 @ 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Staten Island Mall
    Staten Island Mall in New Springville will host THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow, a highly visual, educational and free traveling installation of larger than life LEGO replicas of some of our nation’s most beloved landmarks. Ten one-of-a-kind, large scale models of
  5. Greenbelt Tree Tots

    October 19 @ 11:00 am
    October 19, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:00 am
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Through hands-on activities, crafts, and stories, three and four year-olds and their caregivers will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the forest. Space is limited. Registration required. Fee: $3 per child/Free for
  6. Tot’s Time Plus

    October 19 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Your pre-schooler will create artwork, sing along and listen to stories.
  7. Bouncing Babies

    October 19 @ 11:15 am
    October 19, 2017  |  11:15 am - 11:15 am
    West New Brighton Library
    Come for playtime, stories and songs for babies and their caregivers.
  8. Science Time

    October 19 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Join us for this daily program on problem solving, inquiry and creative thinking. Activities include meetings animals from our Bugs exhibit, playing with solar cars, solving puzzle and games or building structures. Time is subject to change each day
  9. Homework Help

    October 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Port Richmond Library
    Need help completing your homework assignments? Stop by during homework help hours. We are here to help with basic questions!
  10. Art Around the World

    October 19 @ 3:30 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  3:30 pm - 3:30 pm
    West New Brighton Library
    Educators journey around the world with students exploring unique artistic styles and mediums from different countries and cultures. CMOM’s creative arts programs support the student’s own creativity and nurture a love of the arts. Using a variety of art media,