The Bottom Line
The typical grandparenting book is written by a single grandparent, with help from research and statistics. The Art of Grandparenting presents personal essays from twenty grandparents in different locations and situations. It offers valuable advice from grandparents who have adjusted to this new stage in their lives and have found unique ways to be the best grandparent possible. Because all of the grandparents are also authors, they are able to capture their experiences in language that is readable, lyrical and poignant. The Art of Grandparenting is a grandparenting book to be treasured and consulted again and again.
- Readable and Enjoyable
- Spectrum of Grandparenting Experiences
- Valuable Tips After Most Essays
- More Expensive Than Similar Books
- Full-Color Cover
- Published by Nightengale Press
- List Price $19.95
- Edited by Valerie Connelly
Let's be honest. Becoming a grandparent can be scary. Also, even grandparents sometimes make mistakes. For most of us, however, becoming a grandparent results in "being knocked sideways by love," as Barbara Abercrombie phrases it. All aspects of the grandparenting experience--the scariness, the occasional unpleasant experiences and the ecstasies--are detailed in The Art of Grandparenting. Even better, most essays are followed by "Tips and Tricks" to help grandparents in similar situations.
You'll be sure to find a lot to relate to in this collection. These are my personal favorites:
- "Becoming a Grandparent Without Even Trying" by Carol Muller-Funk narrates what happens when a grandmother with seven grandchildren marries a grandfather of eight. Muller-Funk's first tip: "Don't hurry into becoming a grandparent with the new grandchildren."
- "Scary Grandma Stories" by Carole Blake tells about terrors such as coping with a sick grandchild and having a grandson let himself out of a Manhattan apartment. One of Blake's tips: Always have Children's Tylenol in the house.
- In "Knocked Sideways by Love" Barbara Abercrombie admits that she was unenthusiastic about becoming a grandma, but when she saw her first granddaughter, "I fell in love." Abercrombie's first tip: Even if you think that grandparents who are always showing pictures of their grandchildren are "icky," buy the photo albums anyway, and get a Facebook page.
- "Stories I'd Rather Not Tell" by Hannah Yakin is an honest account of the mistakes made by one grandmother, including some that turned out fine and others with some lasting repercussions. One of Yakin's tips: Let the young parents name their own children, even if you feel their choice is "ill-advised."
- "To Grandparents-in-Waiting" by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro tells a humorous but poignant story about a granddaughter who didn't like her grandmother for what must have seemed like a very long time. Shapiro created a relationship with her granddaughter through telling stories. One of Shapiro's hints: "Gather your stories like sugarplums to dance in your grandchildren's heads."
- "I Like Grandpa" by Gene Matthews tells of being a grandparent to his own grandchildren and to other children in need of a grandpa. One of Matthews' tips: "Develop a special 'Grandpa Game' that can become a routine way to play with your grandchildren."
- "How to Become a Go-To Grandma" by Donne Davis describes becoming a grandmother that your children can count on. One of Davis' tips: "Commit to being there."
- In the book's epilogue, "Becoming Grammie," Valerie Connelly humorously describes all the things that have changed since she was a mother. Being able to converse knowledgeably about Boppies, doulas, birthing and Butt Paste is definitely crucial to modern grandmas!