The Grands

The Grands
"Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children".
--- from the writings of Roots author Alex Haley

Monday, May 15, 2017

8 Things Grandparents Want to Say to Parents (and Why They Won't)

If you're a grandparent, you probably shouldn't say these things to the parents of your grandchildren. You might be able to get by with one or two of them, especially if you phrase them very diplomatically. But mostly it may help just to know that other grandparents share your feelings and frustrations.
If you're a parent and you happen across this page, remember that what sometimes feels like criticism is motivated by love and by the desire for all family members to live happier, healthier, less stressed lives.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Congress Looking to Help Grandparents Raising Grandkids in Opioid Crisis

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ranking Member Sen. Bob Casey introduced the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act to create a federal task force charged with supporting grandparents raising grandchildren.
Approximately 2.6 million children are currently being raised in grandfamilies, and experts say this number is rising as the opioid epidemic continues to devastate families and communities across the country. 
The legislation follows a March Aging Committee hearing where the members heard from grandparents who are raising grandchildren when parents are struggling with addiction or are no longer able to care for their children. 
During the hearing, experts and grandparents testified on the need for grandparents to have easy access to information about resources available to assist them.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Grandparents Facing Difficulties Taking Care of Grandchildren

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Maternal Grandparents vs. Paternal Grandparents

All grandparents are not created equal. 

Both scientific surveys and anecdotal evidence show that typically maternal grandparents are closer to grandchildren than paternal grandparents. 

The usual ranking goes like this, from closest to least close: Maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, paternal grandfather. Exceptions, of course, do occur.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

How to Be Both a Good Mother-in-Law and Grandmother

Mothers-in-law have been the butt of millions of jokes, but it's no joke that being a good mother-in-law is tricky. Still, the role of mother-in-law is one of the most important in ensuring healthy family dynamics. If you want to be a good grandmother, you should first study how to be a good mother-in-law, as this relationship can set the tone for the role of grandmother.
Mother-in-law relationships come in two basic varieties: Mother-in-law/daughter-in-law, in which the biological child is a son, and mother-in-law/son-in-law, in which the biological child is a daughter.
Most mother-in-law jokes spring from the second relationship: A male comedian is typically the one making jokes about his mother-in-law.
Interestingly, it is the other variety -- the combination of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law -- that is responsible for most of the truly troubled mother-in-law relationships. That's the conclusion reached by Dr. Terri Apter, author of What Do You Really Want From Me?: Learning to Get Along With In-laws. According to an article in Time magazine, Apter's research found that 60% of daughters-in-law reported stressful relationships with their mothers-in-law, as opposed to only 15% of sons-in-law.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Grandparents' Names: Who Gets to Decide?

Everyone knows that names aren't really important. A rose by any other name, etc. But still, when parents learn that they are becoming grandparents, choosing a grandparent name is the first task that comes to mind. And it's a more complicated business than one might expect.
Learn answers to the questions grandparents ask most often about their grandparent names.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Old Ways Aren't Always the Best

When we were kids, we were expected to eat whatever was placed on our plates. It didn't matter much if we weren't hungry. And it certainly didn't matter if we didn't like the foods that were prepared on a particular day. Dessert was often used as a reward for eating a meal. Today we know that these practices override the natural appetite controls that exist in healthy children.
Most grandparents and great-grandparents think they were fairly good parents. They probably did a better job than modern parents at a few things, such as getting kids outdoors and feeding them real food. However, they got some fairly significant things wrong. Here are six of them.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Ups and Downs of Being a Young Grandparent

Some grandparents are more running shoes than rocking chairs, more social media than social security. 
Since the average age of becoming a grandparent is 47 or 48, obviously many individuals become grandparents even earlier, perhaps even in their 30s. 
These unusually young grandparents face a number of challenges. Becoming a grandparent at a young age can scramble all expectations for the second half of life.
It can also increase joy and, ironically, keep grandparents young. 
To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

6 Culinary Customs Passed On From Black Southern Grandmothers

My grandmother was raised in Louisiana in the late 1920s. She and my grandfather migrated to Texas in the early 60s chasing economic opportunity. Their transition went well and they successfully acclimated to life in Texas. 
Despite the move, her beliefs and food customs showed that she was a Louisianan at heart and would always carry that with her. When my grandmother passed away in 2015, a piece of us died with her. The loss of my grandmother shook the core structure of my family.
During our first holiday without her, my aunt made the decision to preserve her legacy by making her famous sweet potato pie. Since then, we have honored several relatives, including another late aunt with food preparation. 
Southern Black culture is filled with unique food customs and Black matriarchs often start the traditions. These beliefs are not limited to Black Southern culture but they are staples within our community. In honor of the many who have passed on, here is a list of six common food customs and phrases from Southern Black matriarchs.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

How Does Such a Thing Happen: Breaking Down Family Estrangement

An emotional distancing. A cessation of communication. A cold war. Family estrangement can be defined in many ways. Because it is so prevalent and so hard to talk about, some have labeled it a silent epidemic. But because it is seldom talked about, it is often misunderstood.
An estrangement need not be permanent, long-lasting or even mean a total lack of contact. A recent British survey defines it as "the breakdown of a supportive relationship between family members," and that definition captures the heartbreak of family estrangement: Those who are supposed to support you, don't.
Those who should be on your side, aren't.
Parents who lose contact with adult children suffer, of course. But when their children have children, they also lose contact with grandchildren, and that means a double heartbreak.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

How to Regain Contact with Grandchildren

Regaining contact with grandchildren almost always means mending fences with their parents. 

The alternative is to wait until your grandchildren are young adults on their own before contacting them. Establishing a relationship at that age can be tough, however. 

That's why most grandparents shouldn't wait but should try to repair relationships now. If you aren't sure how to do this, consider this advice from readers who have posted on this site who have experienced estrangement and reconciliation.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Personalized Book for Grandparents, Grandkids Now Available

As a technological innovator in the personalized children's book industry, I See Me! introduces a new customizable storybook, Super-Bestest Grandparent, that highlights the mentoring and loving bond between grandparent and grandchild. 

Intergenerational bonds offer distinct social, emotional, and educational benefits. Grandparents often take on the role of mentor, advocate, and supportive listener. 

While many children's books cover relationships between parent and child, friends, and siblings, fewer engage in the valuable bond between child and grandparent. I See Me! celebrates this connection with the diversity of personalization and offers a memorable keepsake to families.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ground-breaking Studies About Grandparenting

What is your most typical grandparenting activity? Is it preparing food, providing discipline, or playing games? The answer may depend upon your exact circumstances, but it is also likely to be influenced by your grandparenting style.
The idea of grandparenting styles is a relatively new one. For years few researchers seemed interested in the role of grandparents in our society. Grandparents led unexamined lives.
In 1964 two University of Chicago researchers, Bernice L. Neugarten and Karol K. Weinstein, undertook an analysis of grandparenting styles.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Light-Hearted Look at the Roles Grandparents Play

Being a grandparent requires a bit of soul-searching. We all have to decide what kind of grandparent we want to be. Then the hard work begins. Sometimes we have to fight against our own personalities to become our best grandparent.
The academics have a lot to say about grandparenting styles, but this look at the roles we play isn't, strictly speaking, scientific. Conclusions are based on some research and a lot of observation. Mostly this piece offers a way of better understanding our grandparenting impulses, how they can be harnessed for the good and how they may occasionally have to be tamped down.

Most of us are actually a blend of more than one type, but we may still need some help making the blend better. 
To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Family Conflicts and Other Issues Grandparents May Have to Face

No one said that grandparenting would be all fun. 
Special challenges must be met by stepgrandparents, long-distance grandparents and grandparents raising grandchildren. And those are in addition to garden-variety family conflicts and the more serious ones that sometimes result in estrangement. 
Buckle up. It's a bit of a bumpy ride.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

7 Habits That Grandparents May Need to Break

Most grandparents enjoy indulging the kids and grandkids, and those indulged enjoy it, too. 

Still, if you want to do what's best for all generations, you'll curb the generosity a bit and make the younger family members responsible, too.

Start with these seven habits you need to break.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How Grandparents Can Bridge the Generation Gap

You love your grandchildren but hate the music they listen to. Your grandchildren love you but snicker about some of your old-fashioned ways. There is still a generation gap, but it's a less divisive gap than it used to be. And that makes the generation gap easier to bridge.
Research by the Pew Institute shows that the current issues on which the generations differ frequently aren't ideological issues.
More often they are simply variations in how the different generations live their lives. Here are some easy ways to get closer to children and grandchildren, as well as some that may not be so easy but may still be worth the effort.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lesley Stahl Talks Joys, Science Behind Grandparentiong

When "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl became a grandmother, she was struck by the "outsized sort of transcendent emotions" that seized her. Wanting to understand the transformative power her first grandchild seemed to have over her, she set out to learn how her experience matched with those of other women. The result was the bestselling book "Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of New Grandparenting," which she will discuss, in conversation with Chicago Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens, on April 6 for at New Trier High School's Northfield campus.
"It was a joy to write about," she said. "Grandparents want to talk about their grandchildren."
Stahl discovered that the role of grandparents has changed dramatically over time.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Photo Project Captures Beautiful Bonds Between Kids and Grandparents

Photographer Ivette Ivens has made a name for herself shooting powerful, ethereal photographs that break down the stigma of breastfeeding.

Now she's at it again with a new project called "Generations," in which she turns the lens on her own family in order to capture the genuine bond between grandparents and their grandchildren.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Granny Can't Go to the Prom, School Says

Eufaula High School senior Bryce Maine celebrated turning 18 by making a very sweet request -- he asked his grandmother to prom.
They made arrangements and she even bought a dress -- but then the school said no.
"She's never been to a prom so I figured, 'Why not take her?'" Maine said. "Every woman deserves to go to a prom, no matter how old you are."
Maine's cousin, Sarah Catherine, said in a Facebook post she believes there was concern that allowing Maine's grandmother to attend prom would prompt other students at the Alabama school to "make the school a mockery" by inviting their grandparents as a joke.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Modern Grandparenting

You can’t miss them. Grandparents are everywhere: on the school run, in the playground, waiting in the doctor’s surgery, reading to children in school, manoeuvring buggies onto trains and buses, standing loyally in goal. As hands-on providers of childcare, “the grands” have never been more visible or more indispensable to working parents.
It’s a task force of willing recruits. From the moment you meet your child’s child for the first time, all previous notions of holding on to your old life slip away. Stealthily, a transition is made, a new kind of covenant entered into. Even grandparents who are still working themselves are sucked into the arrangement: once their first grandchild enters the world, they are part of the practical, emotional and financial support system that keeps working mothers working and provides a safety net for the whole family.
One in four grandparents make sacrifices to be able to give money to their families, helping to finance mortgages, buy clothes or pay for extra-curricular courses or school fees. Many reduce their own working hours to help out. They are the backstop in school holidays and an anchor in medical emergencies and family crises. The expectations, as well as the rewards, are greater than they have ever been.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

10 Tips for Grandparents-to-Be

Your career as a grandparent begins even before your grandchild is born. 

From the moment when you get the good news, your actions and reactions matter. 

These ten tips for grandparents-to-be will earn you the gratitude of the expectant parents and make a smoother transition for all. 

Just be aware -- you'll be in a period of adjustment as well.

To keep reading, click here.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Some Suggested Do's and Dont's of Grandparenting

Grandparenting should be filled with joy; often a long-awaited pleasure. 

However, your adult children who have become parents may be struggling with this new relationship. 

What works and what doesn’t when it comes to keeping a positive rapport with the parents and fostering a bond with the grandkids?

To keep reading, click here.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

There's Now More Grandparents Than Ever Before

Grandparents represent a bigger chunk of the population than ever before, according to new data from the Census Bureau.
The number of grandparents in the United States rose to 69.5 million in 2014, up from 65.1 million in 2009, the bureau reported last week. The youngest baby boomers turned 50 in 2014, and the country’s 75.4 million boomers make up an exceptionally large pool of potential grandparents.
The number of grandparents has grown by 24 percent since 2001. That year was the first time the Survey of Income and Program Participation asked the question “Are you a grandparent?” of respondents who were at least 30 years old and who had a child at least 15 years old.
In 2001, there were an estimated 56.1 million grandparents.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Travel Tips for Grandparents

Traveling is all about making memories.
Vacations are perfect in this day and age for grandparents raising their grandchildren or who are looking for a way to bond with kids attached to their tech devices. However, it takes some planning to make sure the trip is something you’ll all enjoy. 
“Traveling with your grandchildren is a wonderful experience that creates special memories,” says Nicole Loomis of Confetti Travel Company. 
To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Road Scholar Trips Helps Grandparents, Grandkids Cultivate Bonds

A number of factors can influence the relationships grandparents have with their grandchildren. Two of the most important are whether they are fortunate enough to live near each other, and whether they get the opportunity to spend quality time together.
Road Scholar, the world's largest not-for-profit educational travel organization for adults, offers more Intergenerational educational adventures than any other organization -- 165 North America and International learning opportunities that enable grandparents and their grandchildren to share an incredible adventure and create lifelong memories as they learn together, deepening their emotional bonds and understanding of each other. Thousands of grandkids as young as 7, and as old as 23, have formed deep bonds of friendship with their grandparents with Road Scholar.
"The memories made and the deep attachments formed during a Road Scholar learning adventure will last a lifetime," said James Moses, President and CEO of Road Scholar. "I know from my own family these special experiences are as vibrant and meaningful twenty years later as they were when my niece and nephew were just 7 and 9 years-old, learning with their grandparents on a Road Scholar adventure. Road Scholar offers learning experiences that appeal to all ages and interests."
To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

You're Never Too Old to Try Something New

It's never too late! Hilarious photographs capture grandparents experiencing new things for the first time (but it's not always a success)

  • It doesn't matter what age you are, you are never too old to try something new

  • These pictures, compiled by Bored Panda, capture moments people won't forget

  • Photographs include a 100-year-old woman seeing the ocean for the first time

Friday, March 10, 2017

With Addiction a Key Factor, Grandparents Seeking Custody Advice at An 'Astounding' Rate

A Queensland, Austrailia community lawyer says grandparents are contacting her daily seeking custody of their grandchildren and requests for information are increasing.

The chair of the Elder Law Committee of the Queensland Law Society and a lawyer with the Suncoast Community Legal Service, Kirsty Mackie, said she was "astounded" at the surge in the number of grandparents seeking help.

She said addiction was at the crux of the majority of cases.

"It's probably one or two a day that I'm advising on parenting issues for their grandchildren," Ms Mackie said.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

How Grandparents Can Bridge the College Cost Gap

The cost of a college education is going up. And up. And up.

If you’re a grandparent who would like to help fund your grandchild’s college education, here are some strategies.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pope and Science Agree: You Should Talk to Your Grandparents

By Dave Price
This article 1st appeared in Medium

When the Pope talks, you better listen. And when he gives you homework, you best do it.
Earlier this month, Pope Francis told a group of Italian children they should frequently listen to their grandparents, ask them questions, and tell them their dreams.
“They remember history, have life experience and, for you, this will be a great gift that will help you in your journey,” the Pope told hundreds of youngsters who were members of the Catholic Action’s children section.
“I’m giving your homework,” said the 80-year-old Pontiff. “Speak often with your grandparents. They, too, have this contagious joy. Ask them lots of things, listen to them. And be sure to tell them your dreams, too.”
To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

10 Toys for Easter or Spring Flings

Each year Easter toys get cuter and cuter. 

Any of these would make great items to perk up an grandchild's Easter basket or to serve as a prize for an Easter egg game

So if you plan to give Easter baskets to the grands or give them a little something special for Easter, hop to it!

To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Grandparents Can Be the Key After Divorce.

When my eldest daughter was about 8 years old, she was often bothered by her paternal grandparents’ attitude towards me. Being her mom, I found it hard to see her feeling distraught – especially because of people she should feel good about loving—her grandparents.
It is natural, I suppose, to take sides when your son or daughter divorces. But, just as ex-spouses dissing each other in front of their kids harms the children, grandparents’ attitudes can have the same effect.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Why and How You Should Document Your Relationship with Your Grandchildren

If you are like most grandparents, you have ample evidence of your relationship with grandchildren. 

You probably enjoy looking at photographs and mementos, but some day these items could serve a more vital purpose. You could be in court seeking visitation with grandchildren, and these items could document the strong relationship that you have shared with them.
When we are enjoying good times, we seldom worry about the bad times that could lie ahead. But many grandparents have discovered to their dismay that they can be cut off from their grandchildren. And that makes for a very bad time, indeed.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

10 Surprising Facts About Grandparents Today

Marketing groups study how to sell to grandparents. The Census Bureau is interested in households headed by grandparents. The garden-variety grandparent, who isn't raising grandkids and who doesn't have tons of money to spend, is of little interest to most researchers. 

What do we know for sure about grandparents? 

Not much, but we can start with these 10 facts.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

More Grandparent Movement for Us

It's with a mixture of sadness and excitement that we face the next 3 weeks. Sadness that our year living within 10 minutes of our grandchildren Audrey and Owen in Atlanta is ending, but excitement about our return to the DC area.

Since our retirements from the regular weekly working world in 2011, my wife Judy and I have become quite the nomads.

For 59-and-a-half years we lived here in this southern New Jersey community:

Then for 4-and-a-half years we lived in Crystal City, Virginia, just 3 metro stops from Washington, DC.

Then for 2 months more than a year, we lived in Dunwoody, Georgia, a community of 50,000 just outside the perimeter of Atlanta.

And now we're moving back to Crystal City on Feb. 6th

Of course, we're only 59 seconds by Metro from National Airport, so you can bet we'll be flying back regularly to see our grandkids.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Is Multi-Generational Living for You?

It sounds like the tagline for a sci-fi movie: Can baby boomersGen X and Millennials learn to live in peace and harmony? 
For millions of people, this scenario isn't fiction. It's reality. Many families are sharing housing and trying out multi-generational living.
The recession that began around the beginning of 2008 may have fueled it, but many think that the move toward multi-generational households was bound to happen.
 Sharing a home is just one of the smart housing choices for grandparents, but it is one that makes sense on many levels.
To keep reading this article, click here.