Grandparents Today: New Roles, New Rules

My maternal grandmother, Bubbie Chana, wore her steel gray hair in a bun; she wore shapeless cotton dresses and, for special events, a frock of black crepe with v-necked lace collar. She wore heavy lisle stockings and Oxford shoes, with laces. She wore no make-up. In my child’s-eye view, she was a very old lady. I was six years old when she died—before her sixty-fifth birthday.

There are more grandparents alive today than at any other time in history, but we sure don’t look like my grandmother. We’re healthier, more active: many of us work, travel, and volunteer. Which is why it takes some of us time to get used to this new role…. We don’t feel like grandparents. Yet, like my bubbie, we love our grandchildren, unconditionally.

The presentation looks at the roles played by today’s grandparents in the family dynamic. It explores both the parents’ and grandparents’ expectations of appropriate involvement in the grandchildren’s lives, offering tips on how to communicate effectively for the best interests of the grandchild. Long-distance grandparenting is addressed, as are such issues as the grandparent’s support in situations of divorce.

This talk works well with intergenerational audiences.
Participation in the discussion is encouraged.