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Book(s) for grandparents to be

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 11, 2008 2:01:22 PM PST
Michelle says:
I'm looking for ideas for a variety of different grandparents...

All of my family could benefit from a book that mentions things like "don't let baby sleep on it's stomach" and carseat stuff, and basically anything that has changed in the last 30 years.

One is for my mother in law who doesn't like to read much. She is getting a little wierd in her older age (only 56), but will probably do things like she did with her children because "they turned out fine" (well, except for the asthma and childhood illnesses from her smoking). I think she's pretty set in her ways, but something that is cute and a quick/easy read would be good for her. (although the more information that can be packed in, the better, she may be the hardest to "reach") I don't think she'd be too easily offended, just the least likely to accept advice.

One is for my dad. He was pretty uninvolved when I was a baby. He has no ways to be set in, so to speak, and could probably benefit from a manual (still geared toward grandparents, not parents). My mom would probably read whatever I got my dad, but she stays pretty up on things. Anything cute or funny would be up her alley. My folks are both pretty grounded and anything that could be described as "hippy" or "new age" would TOTALLY turn them off. (they both majored in the sciences in college)

My father in law doesn't mind reading, but doesn't like things to get too technical/dry (funny, since he likes to read history, but I digress). He is probably the most "sensitive" of the bunch. Something that mentiones to him that the new parents might need some space and don't hate him wouldn't be bad.

If there's one book that does it all, that's great. My parents live together, so it would be fun for them to get different books. My in-laws are divorced, so it wouldn't really matter if I got them the same book or not (it might almost be safer if I got them the same one).

Also, do you folks think these would be ok as Christmas presents? Or does that send the wrong message? The baby isn't due until March 26.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2008 12:43:32 PM PST
Traveler8927 says:
Here's a good book for soon-to-be grandparents:
"So You're Expecting to be a Grandparent: More than 50 Things You Should Know About Grandparenting" by Mary Ellen Pinkham, but I wouldn't give my parents or in-laws that book as a Christmas present. It would be in very bad taste to give a Christmas present that says, "Here's how I want you to babysit/care for for my child, should I grace you with our presence." Better to give a present that says, "I was thinking about you" and not "how I can use you." If you want to keep with the Grandparent theme, how about one of those corny tee shirts or sweat shirts that says, "Best [Grandma] [Grandpa] in the World." At least they can jog or garden in it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2008 5:08:35 PM PST
Michelle says:
I guess I was thinking that, depending on the style of writing, it would be an ok gift (more of a stocking stuffer, really), if it's really cute, then that's one thing. Having read zero books on grandparenting, I can only assume they send a variety of messages by themselves, coupled with WHO gave it to them and what occation it was for.

Then again, my parents like books so much and are so analytical, I don't think they'd necessarily notice a message of ME telling them what to do--they'd just see it as some handy update to their knowledge base. To each his own....

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008 11:11:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2008 11:19:31 PM PST
R. R. Ernst says:
There are grandparenting magazines, so check those out.

I have a blog at

I would recommend Pam Leo's audiobook on CD, Connection Parenting.

You sound like you are on the beginning of the path where you are differentiating from your parents and finding the boundaries between them and your new family. I went through it and I know so many moms in my local group did too. You might be surprised how much your family stays out of it if you adopt your own "calm assertiveness". I learned that creating the relationship with my own parents was step 1, telling them why I do things the way I do was step 2, or that I did them both at the same time. A new child changes everything! Including how you can relate to your parents. Ha! One time I had a blow up fight with my Dad and told him to leave my house. Later on we made up and he came back with an apology and stated that he was out of bounds and realizes that he should stay out of my business as a parent. We have strengthened our relationship since then, and have a lot of respect and affection for each other. In fact, he has read several books of importance to me and has significantly changed his viewpoint on fundamental parenting issues. However, it was our discussions and personal connection which paved the way for him to have any desire to read the books in the first place. I also found that when I could speak extemporaneously on any parenting topic, with confidence and just lightly touching on the boundaries of my own relationship with my parents, this was more of an impact on them than just handing them a book.

Consider hand-picking articles from magazines on the issues most important to you. Be authentic and say, "Mom, Dad, this information is important to me and I wanted you to know why I'm doing xyz with my child." If you hold your ground with compassion for others, they will eventually see that you are doing the most loving thing for your child while still respecting them.

Also try a book called Non Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg (for you).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2008 10:26:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2008 10:28:06 PM PST
MacJohnston says:
Michelle, your exact situation is the reason why my mother and I teamed up to write the book Welcome to Grandparenting! There are so many books for new parents, but so few for grandparents. You have wisely recognized that today's world calls for a new style of parenting and grandparenting. Welcome to Grandparenting is a resource for grandparents and parents that makes raising secure and well-loved children a family experience.

Our book is intended to help you start a dialog so that everyone is on the same page. We chose not to write a book about the "rules" for raising a baby. There are lots of great books that cover that subject. Instead, Welcome to Grandparenting delivers lots of ideas for creative activities that nurture grandchildren and the grandparent relationship with them at every age. Your parents and in-laws can learn to be a "spontaneous grandparent" and easily incorporate these principles into their lives. My mother and I have been doing so for years in raising my children and it has made for wonderful memories as well as lots of hugs and kisses!

Welcome to Grandparenting is a quick read cover to cover, but is equally informative if your parents and in-laws just choose to read the chapters and suggestion that interest them. It's in a larger font to be easy to read and has a very conversational tone.

I will let you be the judge on whether or not you want to make it a holiday gift. I will say, however, that several mothers and grandmothers have told me they bought a copy to give to someone they know as a present.

All the best to you, your baby and all the grandparents!
Michelle Johnston

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2012 8:56:02 PM PDT
There is a new book out for children called "We Share When We Sleep" and helps parents explain how children who have parents overseas are sharing them with the rest of us. Great book to help explain this complicated issue. It also goes over all other aspects of sharing with a New Fresh approach.. This book includes both grandparents as teachers.. Good luck
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Discussion in:  Parenting forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  6
Initial post:  Nov 11, 2008
Latest post:  Aug 31, 2012

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