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Hey, Gram or Gramps, How Hip Are You?

What’s your Boomer Grandparent Hipness Quotient (BGHQ)?

The Boomer Grandparent Hipness Quotient, or BGHQ, is the true test of your cross-generational cool and ability to relate to your grandchild. Built-in boomer cool can only carry you so far, so it’s essential that you keep up on all the new stuff, too.

How to calculate your BGHQ:
For each question, answer Yes, No or Who Cares?

1. Did you perform a death-defying act today besides getting out of bed in the morning?
2. Do you know what color Barney is?
3. Can you download songs to an iPod without asking anybody for help?
4. Is your TV bigger than 36 inches?
5. Can you name two Zac Efron movies?
6. Have you made a call using Skype?
7. Have you ever ridden a Segway?
8. Can you name at least two of Dora the Explorer’s sidekicks?
9. Do you think of Black Eyed Peas as something other than food?
10. Do you own a Bluetooth headset?

Bonus questions:
11. Did you skateboard or go snowboarding in the past six weeks?
12. Do you know the lyrics to even one Alicia Keys song?
13. Can you name all The Wiggles?

For the first 10 questions, give yourself 10 points for every Yes answer, 0 if you answered No, and 5 points for Who cares? (After all, healthy disdain is part of being hip.) Add 25 points each if you answered Yes to any of the bonus questions, then check the table below to see how you rate.

Your Score What It Means How To Improve
In Nine Months or Less

90 +

Either you’re super hip or you’re lying. No improvement necessary. Why not share your hipness secrets with less fortunate boomers? You’ll be doing them and their grandkids a big favor.


You’re right on track. Keep up the good work. You might even boost your score by sprinkling your conversations with expressions like OMG, BTW, IRL, and TMI.


More than halfway there. Buy some Ray-Bans, start your own blog, tune in to Noggin and Nick Jr., and see your BGHQ soar.


You might still have a chance. Until your grandchild is due, spend every evening connecting with members of your posse on your BlackBerry while playing World of Warcraft on your laptop. During the weekends, watch plenty of MTV2, tossing cool phrases at the TV screen like “That’s so sick.” and “Swee-eet.”


Desperately seeking hipness. There’s only one possible course of action. Call the nearest skydiving school and make your first jump next week, wearing an OutKast T-shirt under your jumpsuit. As you descend, switch on your Droid’s MP3 function and sing along with anything by Justin Timberlake. Just be sure you pull the cord before the final chorus. That’s the boomer spirit!


Your BGHQ went AWOL. For those grandparents-to-be who are truly hipness-challenged, diversionary tactics are your last hope. Start learning several awesome magic tricks today. Kids love them. Then get a lifetime pass to the nearest IMAX theater and maybe, just maybe, your grandchild won’t notice how hopelessly unhip you really are.

Diana J. Ewing is the author of The Baby Boomers’ Guide to Grandparenting

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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