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

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.