the fast-paced lifestyles Americans lead today, people
need a quick, informative way to keep on top of their
family affairs. "Grandparenting" by Dee and
Tom Hardie offers the best way to accomplish this. This
multi-generational column doesn't just address all ages
- it brings them together, offering not only advice, but
book reviews, recipes, anecdotes and avenues for action.
YOU CAN LEARN TO TREAT ALL YOUR GRANDCHILDREN THE SAME
Dee and Tom: We have seven grandkids, all totally
different. Our problem: How do you treat them all the
same and avoid playing favorites? -- Bakersfield, Calif.
Friend: We receive many queries like this. Relax,
you are not alone. It's a normal problem worldwide. The
secret is to have a firm long-range plan and then stick
example, we recently met a delightful grandparenting couple
from Australia. After meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, some
years ago, they settled down in Sydney to raise four sons,
and now help out whenever possible with nine grands.
Bryant, 70, a "semi-retired" architect known to young
and old alike simply as "Big Jim" (He is 6 feet 3 inches
tall), told us:
all over the world control their families today. Men normally
don't relate to children like women do. We males get only
secondhand information from our ladies. To overcome this,
I have worked out a 'master plan.' It's breakfast once
a week, with only one grandchild at a time. "This way
I get all the inside information on the moms and dads,
and what everyone's doing. It's been very successful.
Starting when each child reaches 8, I pick them up at
7:30 a.m., and take them to breakfast at a friendly family-style
their eldest grand, so loved his "slap-up" breakfast (Aussie
for "the works") that he originally told Big Jim he wanted
to be a chef some day.
Jim summed it up: "My grandfather was a very austere,
religious, dominating figure. I hope I can know each grandchild
personally, and share their hopes and dreams. And I'm
careful to treat them all exactly alike."
master plan is obviously working. We hope our readers
can do the same.
REMARK OF THE WEEK
am 46; my husband is 49. We are so happy to be grandparents.
Jenna, ll, Paige, 8, Skylar, 3 1/2 and Shane, 3, are our
greatest joys. We see them every weekend we can.
Christmas we took them to see the animated light display
in Ocean City, Md., a l0-minute ride through a decorated
park on a boardwalk train. I told the kids they would
see so many Christmas lights their "heads would spin."
the end, Skylar said, "Grandma, I saw the lights. When
is my head going to spin?" -- Charmaine and Ernie Dill,
Dills are both postal employees in Wilmington, Del., with
a "master plan." They spend most weekends in Ocean City,
usually with all four grands, treating them all alike.
Grandma supervises arts and crafts and bedtime stories,
and Pappy handles cooking, swimming and golf.