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Grandparents in the News

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Rabbi Sherre Hirsch writes: Grandparents seem to be in the news a lot lately. Will Sasha and Malia's grandmother live in the white house? Did you go on "The Great Schlep" to urge your grandparents in Florida to vote? Will Biden's mother join him on the road starting in January?

Grandmother kissing granddaughter

I hope the answer to all of these questions is "yes." Being someone who had a very close relationship with her own grandmother, I know how important this bond can be for children, parents and grandparents. All I have to do each day is watch my own children interact with their "Gagas" and "Papas."

It seems that they have their own language. My daughter can just give my mother a look and instantaneously my mother takes chocolate out of her pocket. My son can ask my father in law the same question again and again and he is not the least bit perturbed. In turn my kids have a magical effect on their grandparents. My stepfather can be in a terrible mood and take one look at my youngest and poof he is putty in her hands. My mother in law developed an interest in science that even baffles me because my son is a junior scientist. I can't wait to see how much more they teach one another in the years to come.

In an age when we are so focused on "parenting" on children, we need to look at the bigger picture. We need to recognize that "great parenting" involves letting your parents get involved. When my kids rebel and say that they "hate" me, I want them to go straight to their grandparent's house and complain about it to them over chocolate chip cookies. I want my kids to feel like their grandparents are always on their team because I can't be. I have to be their parent, not their friend.

In my eyes, my grandmother was perfect. She was too perfect to me. I am sure that is not how my mother felt about her. I want the same for my children. Let them believe my parents are perfect. It is good for everyone.


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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
ashley November 20, 2008, 7:42 AM

I always love your stories. I have a great relationship with my grandma. She lives a few hours away but we talk all the time and I go see her as often as I can. We are very blessed that my husbands grandmother lives only a few blocks away. Her and my 6 year old son are the best of friends. Every day after school I drop him off at her house so they can spend time together and now he’s in first grade so he reads to her and she makes him his favorite snacks. They have a wonderful relationship. In fact, when she found out I was pregnant again she was a little angry because she wanted him to be the only one. Then she said she wanted it to be a boy just like Lucas, so we didn’t tell her when we found out she wasa girl. Of course she loves her to pieces though. I know my son will probably take it the hardest when she goes. She is almost 88 so I tell him to cherish every single minute with her.


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