Grandparents share their wisdom in books—May 20, 2011
My husband and I have endured years of cute grandchildren stories pouring out of our grandparenting friends and cousins. It's payback time! Our son and daughter-in-law are expecting our first grandbaby any day, now . . .their hospital bags are packed and so are ours! My husband and I are ready to become the world's most obnoxious grandparents.
We've bought important things for the baby and his room; we've armed our son and daughter-in-law with unsolicited but extremely valuable parenting advice; we've got fresh batteries in our new camera, and thanks to a great variety of helpful library books, we are set to keep up with the best of grandparents!
A few highlights of what we learned from the books:
"Most grandchildren take one look at us grandparents and decide we must have been born at some point between Cro-Magnon man and the Civil War.. . Sometimes grandchildren find difficulty bridging the time span between the generations. And from time to time, so do grandparents," notes author Lois Wyse. With a series of charming anecdotes that lend support to her many grandparenting insights, Wyse chronicles ways contemporary grandparents and grandchildren do find common ground. Grandparents who read her book, "You Wouldn't Believe What My Grandchild Did," will appreciate not only her words but the fact that they're set in large print type.
"The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is a kind of merging of the past and the future, with bits of the future - our grandchildren - running off on us and keeping us connected to youth with all its hopes and promise, and bits of ourselves - and I hope that's the part with the wisdom, rubbing off on our grandsons and granddaughters." This and more wisdom comes from Willard Scott, the famous weatherman and proud grandpa of two, in his funny book, "If I Knew it was Going to be This Much Fun, I would have Become a Grandparent First." Scott's book is a collection of witty, warm and wise observations, his own and those shared by many of his celebrity friends.
"Be more spontaneous, playful, inventive, imaginative and not so serious all the time," advises Selma Wassermann author of "The Long Distance Grandmother." Wasserman's book is a thoughtful source of information and inspiration targeting grandparents who live far away from their grandchildren but want to be more than just occasional visitors and holiday gift-givers. Long distance gaming via the Internet and writing or recording and sharing family history stories are just a couple of the suggestions presented to help ease the toll that miles apart may take on grandparent-child relationships.
"The most amazing result of caring for children is that, compared to your normal day, there are at least twice as many hours in a babysitting day" - advice geared for granddads in "Keeping Your Grandkids Alive till their "Ungrateful Parents Arrive." The book's author, Walter Roark, celebrates the golden age of granddaddying but cautions, "this book contains child care secrets only grandfathers should read," (such as how to coerce the family pet into helping eliminate evidence of toddler tummy trouble).
More advice, more fun and more grandparenthood warm fuzzies can be found in a couple of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books - one for grandparents and another just for grandmas; "The Joy of Grandparenting" by Clarice Carlson Orr; and "The Gift of "Grandparenting, Building Meaningful Relationships with your Grandchildren" by Eric Wiggin.
See these and other grandparenting books at Hastings Public Library.