Grandmas are Needed More than Ever
By Harriet Hodgson
Becoming the grandmother of twins changed me. The role enabled me to see life through the eyes of children again, a true gift. I learned from the twins and they learned from me. In today’s fast-paced, complex, challenging, and scary world, grandmas are needed more than ever. We are a stable influence, willing to help (often for free), and have the wisdom to share.
What is the Grandma Force? It is an informal, global, multi-cultural network of grandmothers working singly and together to better the lives of grandchildren. Around the world, in bustling cities and small villages, grandmas are making a difference every day. Better yet, they are creating new memories with their grandchildren.
Thanks to advances in medicine, grandparents are living longer and have more time to shape grandchildren’s lives. This may explain the spiking number of grandparenting resources. Grandmas are turning to print books, eBooks, and websites for support. I write for www.thecaregiverspace.org, a non-profit site that has helpful articles, chat rooms, and focus groups. Other helpful websites are www.gagasisterhood.com, www.grandmaideas.com, and www.grandmother-blog.com/blog
In 2007 the twins’ parents died from the injuries they received in separate car crashes, tragedies that rippled through the entire family. Our daughter was and always will be their mother. The court-appointed my husband and me as the twins’ guardians and we did this for seven years. Life experience and ongoing research led me to write The Grandma Force: How Grandmothers are Changing Grandchildren, Families, and Themselves.
The 250-page book is packed with information, including tips for new grandmothers, shielding grandchildren from online/phone predators, the importance of reading aloud, art projects as personal expression, good communication (the best tool in your toolbelt), and ideas for at-home and out-and-about activities to enjoy with grandkids.
The Grandma Force isn’t a formal organization with dues or a website or a newsletter, yet this is our strength. We can use our talents, education, and experience to help grandchildren anywhere, at any time. If you aren’t a member of the Grandma Force, now is the time to get active. For we share the same goals—to have happy grandchildren and love them more each day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harriet Hodgson, BS, MA
Member, Association of Health Care Journalists
Member, Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)
Member, Minnesota Coalition for Death Education and Support