5 Tips To Bring Modern Grandparents Up-to-Date
Growing up, my grandparents were O. L. D! Like ANCIENT! They must have been in their 50s or 60s or something.
At 55 years old, I’ve been a Nana for almost 8 years. In my eyes, I’m young and full of piss and vinegar still. We’re the grandparents that settle down into our easy chairs and crank up YouTube videos of Monster Trucks (and holler “Oh, Maaaan” …a lot) and sit with eyes glazed while watching the latest “Blind Bag” openings by some girl with a high squeaky voice. We make root beer floats before bed and joke about “old people food”…..and our grandkids love it. We are youthful and get outside and play and run and throw snowballs. We listen to (some of) today’s music, go to loud, rock concerts in our sexy shirts and high heels, and we drop f-bombs like everyone else. We use all the latest technology, although we may not be the greatest at it, and we Facetime or Skype with our grandkids who live far away.
I am not the grandma in the kitchen in my apron baking cookies. Ok…sometimes I am.
But are we really so modern? When it comes to our grandkids are we really up to speed on the latest greatest information out there?
NO! No, we aren’t.
Eight years ago, as I was visiting my daughter at home for the first time since she had had my first granddaughter, I recall thinking I KNEW IT ALL! I truly believed that I knew more than she did. Boy, was I wrong. I may have known more about long-term parenting, but at that point it had been over 20 years since I had had a baby, mixed a bottle, saw a boob out for breastfeeding or put a baby to bed. I’m embarrassed to say that I was THAT grandma who wanted to give far too much advice.
I’ve since learned that, although today’s grandparents may be modern in their style, where they live, their profession, and even in their taste in music, they are not up to speed on the information need to grandparent their modern grandkids with today’s modern information. How do we help them get there?
Here are 5 simple tips to help new grandparents get up-to-date.
Early in the pregnancy, especially before the first grandchild arrives, send them an email with all of the links to your favorite pregnancy, baby and parenting websites or blogs. By sending the links, you are making it easy for them to click on and find the same information you are reading. This will give them the ability to read what you read, have discussions with other grandparents or grandparents-to-be and have a good idea of what is important to you.
Spam their Facebook or Instagram accounts with helpful articles that you find interesting or useful. It doesn’t hurt….and maybe some of their friends or followers will read them, too.
Share the books you are reading. If they question you, it may mean they are just curious and want to understand more thoroughly. Or, if you ever want your books back, buy them their own copy or tell us the titles so we can get them at the library.
Encourage them or gift them a weekend Grandparent Boot Camp, Grandparent 101, or whatever course is offered in your community. Many postpartum doulas or doula agencies are offering educational classes for grandparents. These classes are fun and give new grandparents a place to discuss with other new grandparents all of this “new-fangled mumbo jumbo”.
Remind them to follow YOUR instructions as you ARE the authority and know the latest guidelines for raising YOUR baby. YOU are the one asking your pediatrician, midwife or doula the questions. You may need to remind them more than once. As an aside, if you ask for their opinion, you will likely get it.
Most grandparents live and breathe to be involved in their grandbaby’s lives. They WANT to be helpful. They WANT to provide good information.
They WANT to be amazing grandparents and a part of Team New Baby.