The authors of Grandloving: Making Memories with Your Grandchildren are a family on a mission: to support and cheer on grandparents in their essential role. Fourteen years ago Sue Johnson and her daughter-in-law, Julie Carlson, published the first edition of their book. They hoped to share their advice with grandparents who want to feel closer to their grandchildren. Forty thousand books later their work on the fifth edition has deepened their dedication to helping grandparents.
This newest edition of Grandloving now includes wisdom from another family member: Sue’s daughter, Elizabeth Bower. All three authors are former teachers and moms who draw on their experience to present enjoyable activities that teach, inspire imaginative play, and span the miles between you and your grandchildren.
This updated edition includes resources for grandparents (books and websites), an expanded section on ideas for connecting with your teenage grandchildren, and a “Quick Tips” summary at the end of each chapter. There’s also a new chapter dedicated to using Skype and social networking (Facebook, My Space, Blogger, and Twitter) to keep in touch with your family.
The authors devote a chapter on how to use their book. They encourage grandparents to make the most of visits with their grandchildren by creating activities that are interactive, open-ended, and process-oriented. They advise keeping your suggestions to a minimum and emphasize the fun of doing rather than the finished result. The activities in the book are organized into two categories: those to do with your grandchildren and those you can send to your grandchildren.
In addition to updating their book, the authors have also redesigned their website. They have a wealth of resources and ideas neatly packed into “accordioned” sections, so the website looks clean, organized and easy to navigate. When you click on one of their “creative ideas for connecting with grandchildren,” a bulleted list will drop down which you can expand by clicking on each item.
What distinguishes this book from most activity collections is the generous sprinkling of helpful and heartfelt advice for grandparents as you navigate the relationships with your adult children. For example, “there may be times when your views conflict with those of your grandchild’s parents, but if you consider every difference a learning opportunity, you’ll soon see that positive child rearing can accommodate many styles.”
In the introduction, Jim Fay, author of Grandparenting with Love and Logic, writes that “children who are close to at least one grandparent are more emotionally secure than those without such a tie. Grandloving is a book that will help you make such a tie, inspiring you to truly connect with your grandchildren, whether they live under your roof or across the world.”
I tell all the grandparents I know about Grandloving — it’s a wonderful gift for new or “expecting” grandparents, and even “seasoned” ones, too. The first time I flipped through this book I found an idea for my granddaughters’ Halloween costumes — it was a big winner with the whole family.