Grandparents more involved than ever before?
BY RICHARD AND LINDA EYRE
In the Winter issue of GRAND, we talked about the new sense of a more proactive Grandparenting Movement that we feel developing around the world as we travel here and there speaking and presenting to families; and we mentioned the new online course we were about to start called Grandparenting 101. (See that article here)
Regarding this issue, we thought it was about time for an update on the course and on the movement, because we have learned a lot about the power and enthusiasm of Grandparents during these past few months.
The bottom line is that there is huge (and ever-growing) interest out there in the art and skill of good, difference-making grandparenting
Grandparenting 101 is a six-month course with a Zoom seminar each month and weekly emails of materials and links that help us develop strategies and ideas for making a positive difference in our grandkids’ lives and in our three-generation families. The course had a wonderfully successful launch and more than a thousand grandparents are now participating with more registering every day, and they receive materials not only from us but from several of the other “Grandparenting Resources” that was featured in GRAND’s last issue.
Grandparents can join at any time at www.Grandparenting101.com, and can choose to pay a modest amount to help cover expenses or to register for free if they cannot afford it. The curriculum is extensive, (see here) and has a special appeal to the kind of highly involved grandparents that subscribe to GRAND.
We have been polling the registered course members, and here are some of the things we have learned:
- All ages are registering for the course—from grandparents who are in their 40s to many in their 80s—some with one grandchild (or expecting their first one) and others with 20 or more—and this variety lets us all learn from each other.
- Over 80% are married, and many do the course together, but a significant number of single grandparents are registered.
- Members are spread throughout the U.S., with just under 10% living in other countries.
- 62% have at least one grandchild who lives more than 500 miles away, and 51% have at least one living within 10 miles of their home.
- In listing their reasons for taking the course, 51% say they “Don’t want to re-discover the wheel on how to grandparent.” 41% say they don’t feel they are proactive enough. 19% say they have a serious worry about a grandchild. And 35% say they feel like they are missing out and want to be more involved.
- On the question “How important is Grandparenting to you?” 58% checked “Supremely Important, one of the three most important things in my life” and another 39% checked “Very Important.”
- In ranking from 1-5 how close they feel to their grandkids, with 5 being “extremely close” most said they were a 3.
- 89% said they wanted to become more involved with their grandkids. 39% said they were very interested in providing financial help that did not “entitle,” 78% in learning to give advice that did not step on parent’s toes, 75% in helping in-law kids feel part of the family, 71% in connecting grandkids to ancestors, 38% in improving their empty-nest marriage, and 92% in building trusting relationships with individual grandkids.
- Course members also respond to questions like: What is your core goal as a grandparent? What is the most fun you have ever had with grandkids? What is the most important thing you want to teach your grandkids? How do you help them financially? How do you help them spiritually or morally? What is your biggest current grandparenting challenge? What do you want your grandchildren to remember you for? What is the funniest moment you remember with a grandchild? What is the best grandparenting idea you have ever had?
The bottom line is that there is huge (and ever-growing) interest out there in the art and skill of good, difference-making grandparenting! Hats off to Christine and GRAND Magazine for helping to meet this interest and providing a forum for the discussion of grandparenting issues and ideas. And for an even deeper dive into those issues and ideas, we invite you to register for the 6-month course (you can enter the course at any time because the classes repeat) at www.Grandparenting101.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
GRAND is pleased to welcome New York Times #1 Bestselling Authors Richard and Linda Eyre as regular columnists. The Eyres’ parenting and life-balance books have reached millions and been translated into a dozen languages. As fellow baby boomers, their passion and their writing focus have now shifted to the joy of grandparenting. Linda’s latest book is Grandmothering, and Richard’s is Being a Proactive Grandfather, and their latest initiative is a Grandparenting101 Zoom course which has an invitation list that you can join by emailing EyresGrandparenting101@gmail.com.