Becoming a Grandparent for the First Time

Diana Raab, MFA, Ph.D

Avail yourself of teaching opportunities.
The relationship between grandchildren and grandparents is usually a special one, and often memories with grandparents live far after a grandparent has passed away. I gleaned a lot of wisdom from my grandparents, as my children did from theirs. Hearing about how my grandparents survived World Wars and the loss of their loved ones offered me insight into their lives and a perspective on my own. My grandmother taught me to type and needlepoint—two skills that I brought with me into adulthood. Sharing hobbies and interests with your grandchildren not only strengthens your bond, but gives them something to remember you by.
Remember, we are no longer just defined by our families.
While having grandchildren is important and life-changing, this generation of grandmothers is not solely defined by that role. We have professions, passions, and interests outside the family unit. All this makes the grandparenting experience much richer and probably much more interesting for our grandkids than was the case in previous eras.
As Lesley Stahl says in her book Becoming Grandma, “Becoming a grandmother turns the page. Line by line you are rewritten. You are tilted off your old center, spun onto new turf. There’s a faint scent of déjà vu from when you raised your own children, but this place feels freer. Here you rediscover fun and laughing, and reach a depth of pure loving you have never felt before.”

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