At our July GaGa Sisterhood meeting twenty grandmas engaged in a lively discussion that was long overdue: When Being a Grandma Isn’t So Grand. Fairly early in the conversation one grandma brought up a good point: how come we’re the ones who have to bend over backwards in relationships with our children? What about our needs and feelings? She even proposed that I create a pamphlet for new parents to help them be more understanding of the new grandparents’ feelings. We’re all new at our roles and it would help if our children would cut us some slack! But the parents have leverage; they have the “goods” and if we want to enjoy our grandchildren, we have to play by their rules.
Well, Barbara Graham, author and editor of Eye of My Heart
, suggested a great idea for grandparents who have something they’d like to say to the parents of their grandchildren. She wrote a very funny tongue-in-cheek post on the Huffington Post
in honor of Grandparent’s Day. Graham said that Grandparents Day still hasn’t caught on nationwide. The holiday goes unobserved by 66 percent of U.S. grandparents—and their apparently ungrateful children. So she has proposed a great twist on this unobserved holiday that I bet a lot of grandparents could really sink their teeth into—an amendment to its name and mission.
“Instead of the wussy-sounding Grandparents Day,” she proposes “we get real and change the holiday’s name to Let Grandparents Have Their Say Day. This would be the one day of the year when grandparents can say what they really think, without fear of reprisal from the parents of their grandchildren—i.e., their sons and daughters and their often-testy partners.”
She goes on to say that we grandparents adore our children and believe they’re doing a fantastic job of raising our grandchildren. But being “rabble-rousers in the 1960s, we’ve morphed into the Silent Generation when it comes to speaking our minds to our adult children.” She also quotes a poll which states that 58 percent of grandparents said they keep mum on the subject of how their grandchildren are being raised. Graham ends her cleverly written editorial by apologizing for her self-indulgence but pleads her case for one day a year when we can speak our minds without consequences. Then ends with a list of the “Top 20 Things Grandparents Would Say if They Could!”
What would you like to say to your kids, if there were no consequences?