We missed Grandparents Day last weekend, another holiday created by the greeting card industry, so we don’t feel so bad. We caught up on news on grandparenting, and two posts in particular were worth noting.
In a sobering new survey, The Pew Center found that one in ten children lives with a grandparent, with a big spike coming at the start of the recession in 2008. Of the almost three million children who live with grandparents, the sharpest rise has been among white grandparents. Overall the number of children raised by grandparents has increased 16 percent from 2000, with a 6 percent surge from 2007 to 2008.
The reasons vary from economic, legal, health and emotional problems to divorce, teen pregnancy, extended work hours and military deploymen
According to the Pew Center, most grandparents give themselves high marks for the role they are playing in their grandchildren’s lives — with a majority saying they are doing a very good or excellent job and fewer than 10 percent rating themselves at “fair” or “poor.”
Many grandparents are not raising their grandkiddies but do play a major role—sometimes overbearing—in their lives and the lives of the parents. In a primer on how to be a good (not smothering) grandparent, parentdish.com offered “12 Steps to Becoming a Happier Grandparent.” First, bravo to the editors on the photo that accompanied the article. In a stock photo, “grandma” appears as a confident, well-dressed blonde, not a frail, white-hared granny!
The stereotype of grandparents being old and gray still persists when the reality is that the average age of becoming a grandparents is around 47 and the average age of grandparents is 64, and many are acquainted with hair coloring to say nothing of healthy living!
The list, compiled by the editors at grandparents.com, included some great advice.
Put Your Faith in Your Adult Children. This means not rushing to judgment or second-guessing their every move — even silently. Our faith helps to bolster their confidence; our criticism and doubt undermine it.Agree to Disagree Let’s face it: Our grown children do things differently than we did.
Forgive Thyself Thy Trespasses We can only try to do our best — and have compassion for ourselves when our best turns out to be imperfect
Befriend the “Other” Grandparents In most families all the grandparents are in the same boat. Our adult children aren’t interested in any of our opinions. Take comfort in numbers.
Take Charge of What You Can That is, your own life. You’re not in control of where grandchildren live or go to school, what they eat for dinner, or the disciplinary habits of their parents.
Let Go of All the Rest. Now is the time to acknowledge a higher power in matters pertaining to your grandchildren — their parents.
Remember, Love Trumps All Grandparents are messengers of love…Revel in it, and give thanks that you get to sleep through the night.