Chapter Synopsis

Chapter One, Increase Involvement in New Grandchild Preparations

Getting expectant or new parents to ask for and accept help can be a challenge. Many new parents don't want to impose on or burden others with their problems. So while you as the grandparent may be worrying about being too pushy or butting in with offers of help, they're worrying about imposing on or burdening you. What can a grandparent do? This chapter provides clever and effective strategies that you can use to get parents to ask for your help when they need it and to accept help when you offer it. This chapter also details endearing ways for grandparents to help the family prepare for a new baby.

Chapter Two, Helping at the Birth and with the Newborn

A birth is an exciting and emotional event and, of course, grandparents want to help in any way they can. Will you be at the hospital when baby arrives? Or, would the expectant parents prefer that you babysit an older child at home? Can you get yourself to the hospital? If you're babysitting, are you expected to bring the siblings to the hospital to see the new baby? Will you be making meals or taking siblings to/from school on that day? Do you have car seats for the kids? Are you going to "live-in" and help care for the baby for a few weeks after the birth? There are many ways to help. You probably have an expectation of how things will go. Does what you want and expect match what the parents have in mind? Disagreements arise when people have different ideas and expectations. This chapter details ways that you can be involved and how to effectively communicate with the parents in the months before birth so that everything goes smoothly once baby arrives.

Chapter Three, Creating Good Relations with the Parents

Since parents control access to the grandchildren, getting along with them is crucial. When it comes to rearing children, tension exists between parents and grandparents in every generation. Maybe you think that your grandkids are drinking too much soda and not enough milk. Or you don't believe they have a reasonable bed time. Perhaps you don't agree with the religious faith with which they'll be raised. Or, maybe you think your pregnant daughter-in-law should not go back to work after the baby is born. Alternatively, maybe the parents think you spoil their kids too much. Or perhaps they think you butt in too often with your opinions concerning the children. This chapter details the three things you need to do in order to have excellent relations with your grandchildren's mom and dad.

Chapter Four, Getting More Visits

Most grandparents worry about not getting enough visits with their grandchildren. Sometimes it's because they notice other grandparents spending more time with the grandkids. Other times it's because they simply want a closer bond. This chapter provides grandparents with seven specific and effective steps to get more visits.

Chapter Five, Getting Your Share of Holiday, Birthday, and Other Special Occasion Visits

Getting your share of holiday and special occasion visits with your grandchildren can be difficult for a number of reasons. Some grandparents live far away and therefore see their grandkids only once or twice a year. Or, as is often the case, there's more than one set of grandparents, necessitating a decision regarding who will visit with the grandchildren during the holidays. In some families, due to divorce and remarriage, there are three or four sets of grandparents all wanting visits. And, don't forget, there are also the parents to consider. Maybe they want to start their own family traditions and/or do not want to travel over the holidays. This chapter gives you six things that you can do that will get you more holiday and special occasion time with your grandchildren while also endearing you to their parents.

Chapter Six, When Things are too Good at Grandma's: How to Get Less Visits

Sometimes things are too good over at Grandma's and grandparents can begin to feel like there are too many babysitting requests or even that their generosity is being exploited. This chapter details ways to reduce family dependence on grandma and grandpa, without hurt feelings.

Chapter Seven, Effective Long-distance Grandparenting

What worries long-distance grandparents most is losing touch with their grandkids. Living in a different country, state, or even another part of the same state make it difficult to maintain a presence in your grandchildren's lives. Frankly, nothing can replace the close personal interaction that visits provide. Therefore, you should arrange visits whenever time and money permit. But if only one or two visits per year are possible, there are other things you can do to help maintain a close bond. This chapter shows you how.

Chapter Eight, Create Meaningful Shared Experiences

We're the sum of our experience. As grandparents you've got a lot to share. But the truth is that your life experience is yours. Sharing your past with your grandkids is fun, but your memories will never be as memorable to them as what you do together. They will treasure the events that you share. It doesn't matter if you're a local or long-distance grandparent; there are plenty of things you can do via telephone and e-mail. Creating these special memories is the focus of this chapter.

Chapter Nine, Thoughtful Gifts that Resonate

Gift giving is one of the best things about being a grandparent. Spoiling the grandkids is a favorite pastime. And why not? Grandkids love it and canny grannies realize that there's always time later with Mom and Dad for discipline. Time with Grandma and Grandpa is fun time, but favorite grandparents also make it meaningful and memorable. This chapter provides suggestions for thoughtful gifts that will resonate with your grandchildren.

Chapter Ten, Staying the Favorite

Using your Canny Granny techniques, you'll see more of your grandchildren, have access to their school and after-school activities, be more involved in grandchild birthday celebrations, enjoy more outings alone with your grandchildren, host more grandchild sleepovers, enjoy more grandchild-initiated contact, and share more holiday time. As you successfully use Canny Granny techniques to communicate with the parents of your grandchildren, you'll enjoy a happier and more trusting relationship. You'll be the favorite grandparent—the first choice for babysitting or sharing good and bad news. They'll want to come to your home more often and stay longer during the holidays. But how do you stay the favorite? This chapter explains how.

Canny Granny features "crib sheet" pages. Each chapter begins with a removable "crib sheet" that is a checklist for that chapter. Each "crib sheet" checklist is a copy of a corresponding chapter header page so that removal does not result in any loss of information from the book, i.e., a copy of the same information remains bound for reference. Because a copy of each chapter's "crib sheet" checklist serves as a header page for that chapter, every suggestion set forth corresponds to a specific chapter section and is fully discussed within–grandparents simply turn to that section for elaboration. To learn more about this unique feature, click here.