Grandchildren are a grandparent's joy and revenge.

No, I am not yet a grandfather.
I don't expect to be one in the foreseeable future, either.

I wrote this after coming upon some notes I took at a lecture on grandparenting years ago, and I wanted to write them down here so I'll know where to find them when I need them.  In the mean time, I hope they may be of use to others.  Some of this applies to being an In-law too.

I think the speaker may have based his presentation on Focus on the Family's book The Gift of Grandparenting, because I found that title in my notes.

Bear in mind I only wrote down certain points from the talk, mostly points that I knew I needed to know.  There may have been other points covering what you need to know.

Grandparents are the axle of the wheel of the family: Safe, Dependable, Constant, and Role models.  But a grandparent is not the Commander in Chief, or even a Full Professor.

Words of advice:

Hmmm.  Not as much there as I remember.  I guess I'm going to have to find that book and read it for myself.  In the mean time, here's something awesome from a Dear Abby column. 
DEAR ABBY: My daughter, the mother of a toddler, just had twins.  We live four hours away, so I stayed with them for a few weeks to help her and her husband adjust to their larger family.  It taught me a lot about how to help new mothers who are feeling overwhelmed.

It's not about holding the babies; everyone wants to do that.  Instead, if you really want to help tired parents, do one of the following:


DEAR PROUD GRANDMA: My warm congratulations on the new additions to your family.  Your daughter is a lucky woman.  Your letter should be clipped and saved by anyone who is looking forward to grandparenthood because it is a classic.

In-laws vs. In-laws

I've heard of many troubles between generations that boil down to the right way to do things. 

How to carve a turkey.  How to organize kitchen drawers.  How to raise kids.  How to label frozen food.  etc.

You have, over the course of your many years, through trial-and-error, tweaking and refining, learned the best way to do things.  Right? 

Well, guess what!  So have your kids.  And chances are they are just as proud of their system as you are of yours.  And as for your years of experience, if you do the math, your grown-up kids have been around for a substantial fraction of your years, plenty of time to develop their own way of doing things.

So if it's their house, not yours, learn to do it their way.  If it's your house, be wise and listen to what they have to offer.  Who knows, maybe they've got a better idea than yours. 

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it.   — George Orwell