01 of 05
Grandparents and Technology
Remember the grandmother brag book? It's been replaced by the smart phone. Now grandparents can have photographs of grandchildren always at their fingertips. It's just one reason for grandparents to love technology. Here are some others:
Continue to 2 of 5 below.
- With a computer, grandparents can visit with their grandchildren via Skype. A great thing about Skype is that it works for grandchildren of all ages. Skype also works on Android phones for mobile visits.
- Those who use Apple iPhones or iPads can use the Face...Time app to stay in touch.
- Grandparents who are on Facebook can keep up with family and friends. Just avoid these 10 Facebook No-Nos, especially if you have grandchildren old enough to have accounts.
- If you have older grandchildren, you may have to track them down on these social networks that many tweens and teens are using instead of Facebook. But be discreet!
- Love to shop for the grandchildren? Using your smartphone to shop can save you money and keep you from making some ill-advised purchases.
02 of 05
Perks of Being a Grandparent
We didn't get to be grandparents on the merit system, but somehow being a grandparent feels like a promotion. Just consider:
- We don't have to change diapers if the parent is in the room; (Of course, most of us want to be right there helping out with a new grandchild.)
- When a grandchild has a throwing-up sickness, we don't have to deal with it. (Unless we are babysitting our grandchildren, which most of us want to do as much as possible.)
- We don't have to help with the math... homework. (But we do want our grandchildren to succeed in school, so bring on those fractions.)
The bottom line is that most grandparents get to do things because they want to, not because they have to. And that makes all the difference.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Influence of Grandmothers
No one outranks the family matriarch, in most cases, in having an influence on other members of the family. But matriarchs also play other roles in families:
They may also be wives and daughters and sisters. And when they become grandmothers, the family dynamics change again, especially between the daughters-turned-mothers and the mothers-turned-grandmothers.
Grandmothers have influence in a wide... variety of arenas. Traditionally, grandmothers have arbitrated manners and etiquette for the rest of the family, along with doing a little gardening, but modern grandmothers may not give a hoot about Emily Post or the petunias. Instead they may be sports fans or nature lovers or may have any variety of special interests.
The next time you attend a family function, observe the grandmother. Her style may be subtle and behind-the-scenes or assertive and out in front, but no matter. Chances are she's the force that drives the family.Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
Truly one of the most important functions of grandparents' houses is to serve as a meeting place for cousins. If you host a Grandma Camp for your grandchildren, you'll understand why some call it Cousin Camp. And family reunions? They are mostly fun for grandchildren because they get to be with their cousins.
Of course, cousins come in a couple of varieties. There are those that are seen only once or twice a year. Those cousins have a bit of mystery and a special charm. Then there are... those that are almost like siblings, that are seen often. These are the ones that are most likely to spark a bit of cousin rivalry.
But is there anyone whose life hasn't been enriched by cousins?Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
When you have one kitchen table that often does double duty, for eating and for crafting, strange things can happen. This image captures what one of my grandsons did with tempera paint and his leftover cereal. Thank goodness he was old enough to know not to sample the cereal!
If you have grandchildren who are creative and a little quirky, as I do, sometimes you will be a baffled when trying to comprehend their likes, dislikes and thought processes. You'll learn how children progress through... the stages of development and how gender differences affect development. Then you'll throw all that knowledge out, because it doesn't apply.
But there are compensations. I've learned to share one granddaughter's interest in anime. I've researched home science experiments to keep a grandson happy. I've color coded sheet music for another grandchild.
I always said that I liked being a teacher because it was never boring. The same can be said of being a grandparent!