The Bottom Line
- Sound and sensible advice
- Helpful lists of 10 Things to Remember
- Personal stories
- Useful appendix
- Geared more for U.K. than U.S.
- Cursory treatment of some subjects
- 158 pages
- Trade paperback
- Written by The Grandparents' Association of the UK
Guide Review - Be the Best Grandparent, Teach Yourself Series
I was intrigued by this offering in the Teach Yourself series, because, like many grandparents, I think of my role as something natural rather than learned. But this slim little book from the UK soon won me over. The Teach Yourself series is a line of educational books that dates back to 1938. As a former teacher and a believer in lifetime learning, I'm already a fan. Then I started reading the book, which is credited to the Grandparents' Association, a UK group; I was even more impressed.
I love the book's organization. Each chapter begins with a preview and ends with a list of ten things to remember. In between is a lot of good advice. I really enjoy the little snippets of real-life stories that support the points being made in the book and add tremendously to the interest level. Some chapters contain information that is specific to the UK, but there is still plenty to entertain and inform the American grandparent. Besides, deciphering delightful terms such as "terry-towelling nappies" (cloth diapers) adds another level of enjoyment.
The book covers the expected topics, such as becoming a grandparent, long-distance grandparenting and money matters. It doesn't avoid difficult grandparenting issues, such as family tragedies, but the coverage of these issues is sometimes uneven. One whole chapter is devoted to grandchildren with spinal cord injury, which surely is relatively rare, while the subject of maintaining a relationship with grandchildren following divorce or separation, which probably affects the majority of grandparents, gets only one page. This is a minor quibble, however, and I am already perusing the list of titles in the "Teach Yourself" series for my next selection. Will it be "Teach Yourself Finnish" or "How to Write a Blockbuster"? Decisions, decisions!