Remedial Grandma Class

Listen up all you newbie grandmothers: The class will be meeting, and you will be expected to attend.sash3

Syllabus: etiquette during labor and delivery (and where to park.)

How to clean the cord. (soap and water only; alcohol is out.)

How to work the %&*#! car seat.

How to do the swaddle. (That is a wrap for the baby; not a dance for you.)

How not to alienate your children.

You might think that, when confronted with a newborn, all your little tricks will come flooding back. A couple of hours spent at a class for your express demographic, given by your local hospital, will remind you just how flawed your memory really is. (You’re welcome.) And you will learn about advances in technology and medical science. (and etiquette.)

Technology: the %&*#! car seat. Medical science: to reduce the odds of SIDS, babies now sleep on their backs. Etiquette: Do not butt in. Do not give advice unless asked. Do not be offended if your help is not wanted in the way that you would like to give it.

Bonus: you can bring the expectant grandpa right along with you — another way that child care has changed this time around.

 

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Call In The National Guard

Sure, we know how much good we do for our grandchildren. But it’s Photo3final-300x195nice to have a study from Brigham Young University that lays it all out. For fifth graders who had grandparents living near by, those who were close to them had improved social skills, like kindness and compassion, and were more engaged in school. Grandparents who helped their offspring financially, especially single parent families, were able to make a real difference in their grandchildren’s lives.

But what struck me was something that the study’s author said in explaining the results: “Grandparents are like the National Guard,” according to Jeremy Yorgason. “if there is a problem, they come in and help out.”

This makes intuitive sense. We have the special training, the experience, the tools. All we are lacking is the camo suits. We are activated in a state of emergency. We keep the peace and restore order. We represent central authority. And when it is over, we get to go home.

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