When I became a grandma six years ago, I had no idea how complicated it would be. I watched my own two grandmas for nearly four decades and they made it seem like a piece of cake—something I got a lot of whenever I visited their homes. Nowadays, if you want to serve your grandchildren cake, you better clear it with their parents first. And there are a whole lot of other new things to learn about grandparenting since you raised your children.
Thankfully, there’s a new book, The Art of Grandparenting, to help you navigate the complex realm of being a grandparent today. This anthology is written by 20 professional writers who are also grandparents. The book, subtitled Loving, Spoiling, Teaching and Playing with Your Grandkids, is poignant and often humorous with plenty of tips and advice, from both new and seasoned grandparents.
In my chapter, How to Become a Go-To Grandma, I offer seven suggestions for developing a bond with your children and grandchildren that will last a lifetime. The most important lesson I’ve learned as a grandmother is that getting time with your grandchildren requires building trust and respect with their parents. Trust is the foundation for having access to your grandchildren.
Editor and publisher Valerie Connelly got the idea for the book after she learned her daughter was pregnant with her first child in 2008. When she heard she was going to be a grandmother, she cried with joy—and then panicked. She suddenly realized she had no immediate knowledge about how to be a grandmother. As a child, she didn’t have living grandparents, and as a parent, her own parents lived too far away to be helpful with her children.
In the book’s introduction she says, “this collection of letters is a gift to all present and future newbie grandparents who need tips, tricks and real-life guidance as they first take on the role of grandparent.”