Author’s note: The response to our March Meridian article on Grandparenting was so overwhelming that we felt the need to write a “part 2.” We are actually feeling something of a proactive Grandparenting groundswell or Movement, and we think it is a wonderful and healthy thing. Here is an update, and a chance to get involved.
Last month when we wrote about the Grandparenting seminars we are developing (see that article here) we talked about our unique ability within the Church to think about Grandparenting in marvelous and eternal ways:
- As the creation of our only true and lasting legacy
- As the best way to keep ourselves young
- As the best thing we can to help our own children
- As a generation 1 bond with generation 3 that will last into the eternities
- As a truly worthy priority and absorbing challenge for the third and fourth quarters of our lives
- As the limbs and branches that you (the trunk) connect to the roots.
In that article, we asked those who were interested to send a simple “I’m interested” email to [email protected] , and we were overwhelmed with hundreds upon hundreds of responses. It confirmed our feeling that Grandparenting is becoming a thing, much like parenting did 50 or 60 years ago—and that grandparents want good ideas and best practices and want to develop real grandparenting skills that will help them make a difference in the lives of their grandkids.
We sent out a survey to each reader who responded, and the results were fascinating. Here is a little summary of the results:
- Over 71% said they wanted to have more meaningful dialogue with their grandkids about faith and values
- 88% said they would like to be more proactive and involved in grandparenting
- 73% indicated that extending financial help that promoted self-reliance rather than entitlement was important to them
- 95% said they wanted to learn to give advice to grandchildren without offending their children
- 78% said that making sons- or daughters-in-law feel like a true and real part of the family was important
- Over 90% felt that connecting grandkids to their genealogical roots was important
- And over 72% said they were interested in making their empty-nest marriage better
And, perhaps most intriguing of all, most of those who responded said they would be more interested a complete course on grandparenting, complete with multiple Zoom sessions and bulletins and written materials rather than in just one or two stand-alone seminars.
Bottom line: Most of us really want to be better at this role of grandparenting…and we don’t want to have to figure it out for ourselves or re-discover the wheel. If there are some things that work—some ideas that are proven and tested—we want to know about them; and we want to discuss them and hear from other grandparents and truly become the best grandparents we can be.
Given the higher-than-expected levels of interest, we wanted to do this short follow-up article here in Meridian, reaching out to any grandparents who perhaps missed the March article, and extending the opportunity to be involved.
So, if you haven’t already responded—to get on the list to receive information, to take the survey, and to be invited to the Grandparenting 101 course/seminars once they are fully developed—just send a simple “I’m interested” email to [email protected] and we will get you on the invitation list.
And in the meantime (and in the longer-term) good luck and best wishes in the well-named role of GRANDparenting!
Richard and Linda Eyre are New York Times #1 bestselling authors and media guests on family and parenting. They have recently turned their attention (and their writing and speaking) to grandparenting.