A Farewell Column
Michael Winerip signed off his Generation B column on Sunday, ending his weekly tales of life as a Boomer. Winerip, who wrote about parenting in a earlier column, is the father of four children, aged 15 to 22. In his final column, he tipped his hat to Baby Boomer parents with a wonderful sentiment:
For me, the sweetest columns were about watching our children grow into adults. A standard slam at boomers is that we’re helicopter parents, but I don’t think that’s so. While every generation has parents who can’t let go, I see boomers as parents who’ve had the ability and inclination to spend more time with their kids, and for the most part, enjoyed it immensely.
Who is the Favorite Child?
This suggestion from a USA Today article is too late for most of us but it might be useful for infighting among grandchildren.
Mother of three Sue Wilson, 56, of Stillwater, Minn., says she avoided favoritism when her oldest two were preschoolers by starting what she called “Child of the Day.” That day’s special child would have the favored spot, but the next day the other would. With the third, it became every three days. Her children, now 29, 27 and 24, rotated the benefits (such as who sat shotgun in the car, who got an extra cookie or any other special privilege that day) well into high school. “It stopped every argument,” says Wilson. “I’d just say ‘Who’s Child of the Day?’ “
On the other hand, maybe we can use it with our adult children and their competing needs!
One Way to Fill the Empty Nest
After the children leave, some people work more or take up a hobby to fill the time. A select few shower all that extra time and love on their pets. In “American Parents Going to the Dogs After Human Kids Leave the Nest,” the Wall Street Journal profiled women (yes, they were all moms) who filled their time chauffeuring around their dogs as they once did with their children:
Evie Bronikowski, who is 56, said that as a stay-at-home mother, she took her children to sailing, rowing, swimming, soccer, tennis and water-skiing lessons. After they left, “I thought, ‘Holy Toledo, I’ve got a lot of time,'” said Ms. Bronikowski.
Her new passion: her three dogs, Tebow, Annie and Buzz.
Once a week, each pooch takes an agility class—separately since each is at a different level—learning to jump hurdles, navigate teeter-totters and run through tunnels.