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Putting the GRAND in Grandparenting

by Sep 16, 20152015, Archived Posts, Blog

When I was first told I would be a grandmother I must admit I had reservations. Grandparenting is for old people. Grandmothers wear their hair in a bun, wear sensible shoes that tie, and have false teeth. I was NOT ready for that.

I have since discovered the wonder of being a grandmother. Wow. I had two granddaughters born within seven months of each other last year. They are now thirteen and twenty months old. One has mastered standing and making raspberry sounds and the other is running around and singing her favorite little song. Both live far away, but I enjoyed some gramma time this summer with them.

At The River Center we have grandparents on our mind as well. On October 7th, Bonnie Harris will facilitate a discussion with grandparents about our relationships with our adult children and our role in our grandchildren’s lives. If you are a grandparent, please join us at 46 Concord St. in Peterborough on October 7th from 6:30-8:00.

We have many classes and groups for parents at The River Center. It is so important to have good input, fresh perspective and helpful hints from others during the parenting process. The same is true as children become adults. They grow up, make decisions, take on responsibilities of their own, and some eventually become parents. This is a familiar journey we all make. None of us knew what we were doing when we became parents (or am I only speaking for myself?). It may be painful process to watch the next generation figure it out, but they will figure it out- without our micromanaging the process. Respect and encouragement are key components for healthy relationships with our adult children. Please join us as we explore the joys and challenges of grandparenting on Oct. 7th.

The River Center and The Grapevine- both family and community resource centers- have started another very important group for Grandparents. This group is for grandparents who are parenting their grandchildren. For a variety of reasons there are many grandparents who find themselves raising another generation just as their retirement years approach. They are dealing with daycare, diapers, and dating- again. Parent educators from The Grapevine and The River Center facilitate this monthly group for support and to share information and resources that all find helpful.  If you are parenting your grandchildren and would like support, please call The River Center at 924-6800 or The Grapevine at 588-2620.

I have been observing others who grandparent well. My father-in-law always made sure he talked directly to each one of his grandchildren no matter if they were two or twenty. He would look them in the eye and ask them to tell him what was new and exciting in their world. He didn’t ask the parents, he asked the kids and they loved him for it. I see my friends who are on Pinterest finding special projects to do with their grandchildren. They are building memories, time together, special grandma time (alas, few grandpas on Pinterest). My grandmother had a special shoebox full of fun toys that I could play with when I was at her house. I am taking note.

Will you be spending time with your grandchildren this fall? There are so many fun things to do with children in the Monadnock region. My vote is to take a day hike – Sheiling Forest for a pleasant walk in the woods, Gap Mountain or Mt. Monadnock to really work the wigglies out of the crew. A trip to a farmstand for corn on the cob followed by burgers on the grill in the back yard. Watching the stars come out and the moon rise. It doesn’t really matter what you do- just spend time together, laugh a lot, and enjoy each other.

So, whether you are called Grandma, Nanna, Grammie, Grumps, Bumpa, or Grandfather, you have a special role in someone’s life. It can be joyful. It can be challenging. Get the support you need – the next generation needs you.