The 60 Minute Grandparent

A Book Review by Christine Crosby

As the author of The Sixty  Minute Grandparent, Rob Parsons, says, “There are all kinds of grandparents—super-involved, tired-out, ready to help or stressed and over-busy. But whether you live close by or halfway around the world, every grandparent has a vital role.” Well, after publishing GRAND Magazine for the past ten years, and reading a LOT of books on grandparenting, I’ve never found one that cuts to the chase as efficiently as this one. Mr. Parsons starts by dispelling myths like: “The ‘fun’ element is somewhat exaggerated.” As he says, “Of course, being a grandparent is brilliant and we wouldn’t be without the grandchildren, but the truth is that many of us have never got over the shock of our children having sex, let alone kids.”

60 Minute GrandparentEach chapter recaps the take-away. Here are a few nuggets, but do buy the book for yourself or as a gift for a new grand.

  • ·         There’s a borderline between ‘care’ and ‘control’—and grandparents don’t have a permit to cross it.
  • ·         Don’t criticize the new parents, even if only by implication: “Oh, he‘s never any trouble when I have him.’
  • ·         Try to build a good relationship with the other set of grandparents and avoid any competition as to who is best or most loved.
  • ·         Remember, even acts of kindness can be suffocating if there are too many of them. 

60 Minute GrandparentRob Parsons OBE is the founder of Care for the Family, a national charity committed to strengthening family life. His books include The Sixty Minute Father, and Teenagers! What every Parent Has to Know. He and his wife, Dianne have two children and three grandchildren.

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