I’m a proud Boomer grandparent and I can tell you that grandparenting has changed! We Boomer grandparents take grandparenting very seriously. Indeed! We grandparent like it’s an extreme sport. I call it…Ultimate Grandparenting!
We seriously goof around with our grandkids, seriously belly laugh at their 5 year old versions of Knock Knock jokes, seriously make huge messes doing projects. And seriously listen to their serious thoughts and help them learn how to solve their life problems themselves.
At first, being a grandparent made me crazy!! I couldn’t think of anything else and every day I thought about her and how I wanted to see her. I was besotted in a grandparent way. Oh come on. I was OBSESSED, but I can be that way at times and thought it was just nutty me….until….I started hearing the grandmother stories.
I met a grandma about three years ago who told me one of her Ultimate Grandparenting stories. While talking on the phone with her daughter, two states over, her Daughter mentioned that the baby was about to take her first step! Well. What do you think? Yep. Grandma threw some things in a bag, gassed up her car, took off, drove virtually non stop, and…ta-da! She made it for that first step.
Her concerned son-in-law told her she just couldn’t be doing this sort of thing! (Rash and irresponsible, right? Too old for such shenanigans?) Ha! Just try and stop her! I see and hear about just this sort of intent among today’s grandparents as they get swept away by the thrill of Ultimate Grandparenting. “Here I come! I’m on my way!”
Making Ultimate Grandparenting Work for the Family
No longer does the quaint old concept of spoiling the grandkids and then sending them home to Mom and Dad work. We Boomers have integrity about the time we spend with our grandkids. Furthermore, we have important experiences to share, vivid memories to make, and family continuity to create.
The grandparents I know take the parents’ values very seriously when it comes to behaviors, bedtimes, food, gifts, education, etc. We try to stay out of the business that isn’t ours. I like to defer to my granddaughter as the authority on her family’s protocols. “What do your Mom and Dad want you to do? Tell me the rules in your family about this. How do you do this at home?” And…sometimes she wants Grandma to fudge, just a little, just for the thrill of it, and…well, sometimes we do. But never on the really big stuff.
So, eat well and take your vitamins, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and master time management because we all need to be in top shape to succeed at Ultimate Grandparenting. The grandkids count on it!
Here is a great article about this new style of grandparenting. Please feel free to share some of your favorite Ultimate Grandparenting experiences?