Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Are you smart enough to be a grandparent?

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Babies are on my mind. I will become a Grandma for the 12th time on April 12th.  I am going back to Oregon so I can celebrate my luck.   Read this post and come back and visit me soon.  I will have pictures!:) I also appreciate a follow or a link on your blog.

....boy could I use a copy of this book, How to Be the Perfect Grandma by Bryna Nelson Paston. People say it is funny. The words on the front cover are, "Never let ever, ever let anything bad happen to the kids on your watch...if you do lie!" The name of the first chapter is "There are rules. Follow them or go directly to grandma jail."  I am so glad that other grandparents have the same life as mine.
Brycen, #11, Age 2
Amazon  says: The Ultimate Rules for Grandma Success "Becoming a grandmother is not one of life's free choices. You can pick your pet, your alma mater, and your spouse, but when and where you become a grandma is entirely up to your kids. You don't expect it, and you don't quite know how to respond.  Being a grandma, though, is as close as you may ever get to perfection. So learn the rules and secure your spot as one of the most important parts of your grandchildren's lives."
Note: I want you to know that "How to be the Perfect...." is highly recommended by one of my favorite websites written by Susan Adcox over at About.com.  
Today's Thoughts
I don't know if you are a grandparent or not but I personally think that taking care of my young grandchildren is hard. I'm not sure if I am smart enough now or ever have been. I listen to Susan Adcox because she knows what she is talking about and has a good sense of humor. Yesterday I noticed a Twitter message from her about taking a Grandparenting Class. It turns out that some grandparents are offended that anyone would question their abilities. They are like me... they don't plan on letting anything happen to the children on their watch and if it does they can always do what Paston does...lie. I will have to admit I thought that if the hospital will send a brand new infant home with unsuspecting parents, why the necessity for me, the grandmother of 11 soon to be 12 grandchildren, taking a class. Then I remembered I am an educator and I know all the research that has been done on child rearing in the last 50 years. I realized that I need more information for keeping a baby safe and happy on my watch.  Besides, I am a terrible liar and I love those children beyond reason. Most importantly I don't want my daughter-in-laws mad at me. I am thinking a Grandparenting Class might not be a bad idea.

So Why the Class?
Adcox mentioned reasons for the class...things like the research on how a baby sleeps, tummy or back.  When my children were small we did not allow them to sleep on their backs. Back sleeping was thought to be the cause of infant death syndrom. We fed babies solids very early, did not take our babies out in public for months and used formula because we thought it was better for the baby (and ourselves) than breast feeding.  We spanked children, had them play in the sun until they were tanned and allowed our children to crawl all over the car and sleep in our laps in the front seat. My tiny babies slept in a bed on the backseat...it was manufactured for parents of newborns. Grandparents/parents smoked in the the house and grandmothers encouraged us to use weird homemade concoctions on our children. Yes my lovelies, times have changed.

So could it do any harm to take a class, bone up on emergency treatments for cuts, head wounds and choking?  Could we use a reminder about the medicines in our drawers and what would happen if your grandchild got into them and how to keep them alive if they did? What about the safety issues we have forgotten like the senior neighborhood swimming pool or the mop bucket or the toilet bowl or that water feature in the backyard you love so much? Would it be bad to listen to someone talk about child psychology for a while and even learn about the best way to help children adapt to being away from home? How about finding out which of the toys we have kept from our children childhood that might not be safe? Do we need to learn the new CPR methods or if there are ways to reduce SIDS? I don't know about you but I am thinking that I will bone up a little bit on my grandma skills. Adcox mentioned almost all of these.

I am glad that Susan Adcox brought this up. While I can joke about the things that happen on my watch, I do take the responsibility very seriously. I have decided I think we might all be a little smarter if we spent some time learning about what the commonly held knowledge for today is. What do you think?



  1. I was told, "no mom we don't DO that anymore" several times. Now I ask.
    Like you, I love my grandchild more than I ever thought I could! I would attend a class on grandparenting- for sure!

  2. Janette, I am glad to hear I am not the only one. Mine generally comes after the damage is done. After 11 I have learned to never give advice...I tell my children that they have good instincts, good education and common senses. Then I cross my fingers.

    My problem is I know too much and have seen too much. Because of that I know the danger that is lurking everywhere.



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