Being Grandma and Grandpa: Grandparents Share Advice, Insights, and Experiences, Emily Stier Adler and Michele Hoffnung 2018

The authors are a sociologist and a developmental psychologist and the grandmothers of 10 grandchildren ranging from newborns to 17 years old.  They draw upon their own experience as well as interviews and conversations with more than 200 grandparents to provide valuable advice for anyone embarking on this exciting phase of life.  They acknowledge that this sample of grandparents is not ‘representative’ in any sense, and hence, doesn’t provide a ‘scientific’ study of grandparenting.  What it does provide is a rich and engaging series of anecdotes and insights into the joys and challenges of grandparenting.  Chapters about grandparenting from a distance, gender effects, the changing experience as grandchildren get older, and the challenges of dealing with your children around their children provide interesting stories and useful suggestions.  Particularly helpful is the section at the end of each chapter, highlighted with a blue background and entitled “What’s a Grandparent To do?”  that lists the most important ‘take home messages’ in brief and easily remembered form.  Despite being an experienced grandfather of three remarkable young children, I still found useful tips and suggestions for how to ‘up my game’, but I think the main benefit of this book will be for those who are about to embark on what may be the most rewarding and delightful stage of life.

Shop your local indie bookstore