“When are you going to write a book on grandparenting?” is a question asked of me by lots of folks, most of whom — no surprise here — are grandparents.
My stock answer: “I might, someday, that is, but right now I’m working on some other projects that are taking up most of my time blah blah blah.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve thought about a book on grandparenting, and I may still write one. If I do, it may consist of real-life horror stories I’ve heard from grandparents around the USA (and, of course, my advice concerning each horror). These tales of woe aside, many Boomers are less-than thrilled with the way many of their children are parenting. It certainly deserves a book.
So, the bottom line is that I’m not going to write a “how to be the grandparent your grandkids want you to be (whether they know it or not)” book. Maybe my wife, Willie, will write that one, but not me. Besides, that book has been written already and I don’t think I could improve upon it.
Chrys Howard — her daughter Korie Robertson is the female lead on Duck Dynasty — has a lot more grandkids than she does kids, and as we say in the South, her grandkids love her to death (and the feeling is mutual). Like everything connected with the Duck Commander crew, Chrys is the real deal and so is “Rockstar Grandparent” (Waterbrook, $15.99).
Written like an intimate conversation about Chrys’ grandparenting experience, “RG” is full of real-life anecdotes that reveal the heart of a grandmother who takes her matriarchal role in the family seriously. Chrys gives practical advice on how to be a fun grandparent, yes, but she always comes back to her main theme: family. She reminds us that grandparents are the glue that holds a family together, an especially important role in times like these when family members are often living hundreds of miles away from one another.
Chrys also speaks from experience about the heartaches of death and divorce and how to move forward when tragedy strikes. She shares stories about opening her heart and home to children through adoption, foster care, and mentoring. She communicates the importance of standing strong on principles and being the example of right moral behavior.
All of this is done using songs from the sixties and seventies as jumping-off points which Chrys weaves deftly into each chapter topic. Songs like “The Sounds of Silence” (Simon and Garfunkle) and “Let it Be” (The Beatles) were anthems for the ‘60s teens who are now grandparents. The words from these songs will resonate with the reader bringing back fun memories as well as themes for optimal grandparenting.
Whether you are just beginning this journey or consider yourself a seasoned pro, this book will inspire you to either “carry on” or “get moving.” The influence of grandparents in the lives of their grandchildren is largely a matter of what the grandparents choose to make of the opportunity to be a steady source of wisdom and counsel. This book will encourage and inspire lots of folks my age to make the most of an amazing opportunity.
[Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com.]