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Susan Adcox

Grandparents

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Grand Photo of the Week: Egg-stra Fun

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Easter Eggs Homestuck trolls

Easter doesn't always mean bunnies and chicks. This anime fan based her eggs on the twelve trolls from the webcomic Homestuck. If that sentence means nothing to you, don't worry. It means nothing to the majority of grandparents.

If you'd prefer a more traditional Easter, check out these Easter egg games. And if you would like to give your grandchildren something that's neither chocolate nor a bunny, take a look at this list of Easter gifts for grandchildren.

Photo © S. Adcox

No Grandchildren? What a Doggone Shame!

Tuesday April 15, 2014

granddogIf you are relying on a daughter in the under-29 age group to give you a grandchild, you may be in for a wait. But if you'd like a pint-sized granddog, you're in luck.

The digital news outlet Quartz reports that the birth rate for women 15-29 has dropped just as the popularity of small dogs has risen. And women in their late 20s and early 30s are the ones buying the small dogs.

A dog, no matter how adorable, is small consolation when you're hungry for grandchildren.

I'm lucky enough to have seven grandchildren. I also have a beautiful granddaughter who is currently buying Puppy Chow instead of Pampers, and that is all right with me. I have my great-grandmother name all picked out, but I'm in no hurry to use it.

Just don't make me wait too long.

Photo © H. Sanderson

Caring for Grandchildren Can Help, Hurt Grandmothers

Monday April 14, 2014

Many parents are switching from traditional child care to grandparent child care.It's beneficial for grandmothers to spend one day a week taking care of grandchildren, but five or more days a week may be too much, a study of Australian women reveals.

The study looked at the mental sharpness of the grandmothers, aged 57 to 68, and found a positive result among the one-day-a-week caregivers and a negative result for those providing full-time child care.

The researchers postulated that those who provided the most care for grandchildren might feel resentful and stressed, which can affect mental performance. The researchers also stopped short of saying that the study proved a cause-effect relationship, saying only that the study was a good starting point. Previous studies have established that social contact is good for mental acuity, but this is believed to be the first study to examine the impact of grandparent-grandchild contact.

I think that the study results could have a simpler explanation: The full-time caregivers are simply tired. I'm a great advocate of finding ways to avoid fatigue when the grandchildren are in the house. (My personal favorite is having a bit of a lie-down before the grandchildren arrive.) But if the grandchildren are on the premises five days a week, nothing could prevent my being tired. And when I am tired, my brain barely functions.

What do you make of the study's results? Leave a comment below.

Photo © Meredith Heuer | Getty

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Give Your Grandchildren Something Priceless

Sunday April 13, 2014

heirloom journal for your grandchildFor years I have been an advocate of grandparents creating keepsake journals for their grandchildren. I've collected and reviewed quite a few, but I never thought of writing one. Then it happened. The folks at Family Tree asked me to write the questions/prompts for a journal for grandparents to complete for their grandchildren. The result is Stories From My Grandparent: An Heirloom Journal for Your Grandchild. My name is on the cover, but the real author of each book will be the grandparent who completes it.

When one of my ex-students learned about the book, he remarked, "I see that you're still asking questions!" But coming up with questions for the book was no easy task. I had to keep questions general enough to fit most grandparents' lives, yet provocative enough to generate interesting responses.

Filling out such a book is not an easy task, either, although I have some hints that will make completing your journal easier. If you undertake the job and flag in the completion of it, think of this: How much would you give for such a journal filled out by one of your grandparents? It gives new meaning to the word "priceless."

Whether you use my book or one of the others on the market, I urge you to give a grandparent journal a try. Grandparents don't have a lot of chances to give a grandchildren something priceless, but this is one.

Grandmother Has a Way With Dates

Thursday April 10, 2014

I have seven grandchildren, and occasionally I forget one of their birthdays. That's because birthdays involve numbers, and numbers do not stay in my brain.

That's a problem that Aussie grandmother Kathleen Newton doesn't have. In spite of being 87 years old. In spite of having 60 grandchild birthdays to remember.

That's right. Newton has 17 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and 8 great-greats. And she knows all their names and when they were born. She recites them aloud once a month.

That's a unique brain fitness exercise and one that I should adopt. I should have my grandchildren's birthdays mastered before my great-grandchildren come along.

Do you have any tricks for remembering dates and other important information? Leave a comment below.

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Grand Photo of the Week: Rite of Spring

Wednesday April 9, 2014

bluebonnet pictures

Taking pictures in the bluebonnets is a rite of spring in Texas. And if you just happen to have an awesome cowboy hat to wear, so much the better.

Spring is also a great time for taking the grandkids fishing, going geocaching or organizing a nature scavenger hunt.

What activities are you looking forward to this spring?

Photo © J. Fisher

Are Grandparents to Blame for Postpartum Depression?

Sunday April 6, 2014

A new piece of research examines multigenerational households that include new mothers. New research is a good thing. The way the research is being promoted is not a good thing.

"Grandparents may worsen some mothers' baby blues," one headline declares. Other news outlets have  given the story similar headlines.

The study looked at mothers during their baby's first year and showed a higher rate of depression for married and single mothers living in multigenerational homes that included grandparents. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that it's probably not the grandparents who are sending the mothers into a funk. Instead the mothers are probably sad that their living situation isn't what they would like. Multigenerational living can be a smart choice for many individuals, but for better or worse our cultural ideal is still parents and baby in their own home.

Postpartum depression  or PPD can be a serious condition. All grandparents should know how to recognize PPD and should know about some strategies for addressing PPD if it occurs.

Grandparents are, I believe, more commonly part of the solution than the cause of the problem, no matter what phrasing headline writers choose.

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Dreaming About Grandparent Camp

Friday April 4, 2014

A few days ago I received a brochure for Grandparents University at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and I've been dreaming ever since. Which class would I choose? Would it be Memory-Making Clay Designs or Aquatic Ecology? Grandpa would undoubtedly choose Hands-On Rocketry or Game Theory. Of course, we might let the grandchildren have some say in choosing classes, too.

Unfortunately, I'm too far away from Wisconsin to make that trip possible. But I've rounded up a list of other grandparent camps, and some of them are closer. Maybe my summer will include going to camp with a grandchild after all.

Take a look at my list. As long as we are dreaming, which program would you choose? Leave a comment below.

AARP Members Save at Toys 'R' ¯Us and Babies 'R' ¯Us

Thursday April 3, 2014

AARP Discount

I love to save money. I think most members of my generation do. Maybe instead of being called Baby Boomers, we should have been called Penny Pinchers. Whether you're a Boomer/Pincher or a member of an older grandparenting generation, I have money-saving news for you.

AARP members now save $5 on purchases of $25 or more at Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us as long as they shop Monday-Thursday. Some exclusions apply. Excluded items are mostly everyday items such as diapers and formula and also some high-end electronics.

Let's see. You have to be 50 to join AARP, so a few young Boomers along with Gen-Xers won't quite make the cut-off. But now they have an additional reason to watch the mailbox for that AARP card. The chance to save money on gifts for the grandkids could take the sting out of that particular rite of passage.

Grand Photo of the Week: Berry Good

Wednesday April 2, 2014

Grandchildren will be way prouder of fruit when they pick it themselves, and more likely to eat it.

It's easier to get the grandchildren to eat their fruits and vegetables if they've had a hand in growing or picking them. Gardening with grandchildren is great fun. If you don't have the room or the energy for a full garden, try one of these mini garden projects. If you just don't garden, period,  pick-your-own farms make it possible for you and your grandchildren to experience the fun of harvest. And don't forget to develop your own healthful eating habits.

Photo © L. Sanderson

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