One of the best parts of being a grandparent is connecting with others outside of your family. Not only do you have something in common with trillions of other proud adults, but your status as a grandparent can enhance your relationships with everyone else.
If your grandchildren are too far away to play with on a regular basis, you can get involved with other children who are nearby. Here are some activities you might enjoy:
Have you voted since you became a grandmother? If so, I’ll bet you thought twice about that school bond issue on the ballot. Maybe you’ve even started recycling. Rather than burrowing in as your life winds through familiar territory, now is the perfect opportunity to look up and be a part of the world at large. You have a valuable perspective on the world’s potential. And goodness knows, you have real, live, huggable reasons to care about what happens in the next month, the next year, and the next century. Your young grandchildren can’t vote yet, but you can make sure their interests are represented.
Have you ever seen a grandmother arrested for political activism? How many grandmas lead influential delegations at party conventions? When is the last time you saw a grandmother collecting signatures outside the post office? You would remember, right? Grandmas stand out in every political crowd. The public sympathizes with grandmas, because they represent everything good and loving about families. Consequently, your support of any issue or candidate is quite influential. You don’t have to get arrested, but your efforts on the local level of your favorite cause can make a big difference. Your opinion counts … a lot.
Grandmothers for Peace, an international organization based in Elk Grove, California, began in a grandma’s living room in 1982 and now holds conferences around the world. Communication between grandmothers of many nations not only provides help on a personal scale, but also echoes in the halls of parliament. Join a local chapter of a group that interests you — or start a new one — to address your concerns about the world your grandchildren are inheriting.
Grandparents can make a difference. The future is yours.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education
Parenting advice is given as a suggestion only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider.