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How To Be The Perfect Grandma


How to be the perfect grandma is the title of a book by Bryna Nelson Paston. It’s one of many in my robust library of grandparent books.  As the editorial director (along with many other jobs) for almost 20 years, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of grandparent wisdom.

This title caught my eye because we all want to be perfect grandparents, but alas, like everything else in life, being perfect is a fantasy.  We are all just fallible human beings.

As the cover advises us, “Becoming a grandmother is not one of life’s free choices. You can pick your pet, your alma mater, and your spouse, but when and where you become a grandma is entirely up to your kids.

Being a grandma, though, is as close as you may ever get to perfection. So learn the rules and secure your spot as one of the most important parts of your grandchildren’s lives.”

In this book, Ms. Paston, reveals her 33 rules and as she states, “follow them or go directly to grandma jail.”

This little book makes a great gift for new or soon-to-be grandparents.

Another little book (which is more like a bound pamphlet), titled Grandmother’s Rules written by Wyatt Phillips is another little fav of mine.  This one has only 16 rules.

Rule #9 tells us:  

Most presents should be toys. Clothing is allowed, but only on a limited basis (babies), and must be asked for by the parents.  Cash is always good for the older kids, no limits please and children should spend most of the money on good stuff, something they really want.

What drew me into this little book was a poignant poem in the opening:

Grandma Doesn’t Care

By Judith Bond

I got some jam on her new couch, But Grandma doesn’t care.

I lost my toothbrush, dropped a glass, and my old jeans have a new tear, but Grandma doesn’t care.

I tipped the cat dish on the floor, my feet are always bare, and the way I look is a disgrace, but Grandma doesn’t care.

She’s very busy, and then she sees, the tangles in my hair, she gets a brush, I make a fuss, but Grandma doesn’t care.

When I am grown, and on my own, when visits become rare, I won’t forget the love I’d get when Grandma didn’t care.

For some folks grandparenting comes naturally; with lots of love and some common sense, but for the rest of us, we really do need some help to know the many ways we can hurt relationships and to help us from stepping on our own “know it all” feet.

To see other book reviews, click here.


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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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