As grandparents, many women over 60 are embracing a new role in life. Seeing our children grow up to have children of their own is one of life’s great joys and privileges, and it reminds us of how life is a circle, with so many stages and cycles. The young become the old, and “The Child is father of the Man,” as William Wordsworth wrote.
One of the most fun and heartwarming ways to spend time with your grandchildren is to travel together. Whether it’s a weekend trip close to home, or a longer excursion to a faraway vacation destination or even another country, more women over 60 are discovering the joys of traveling with their grandchildren.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 4.9 million grandparents raising grandchildren. If this group includes you, congratulations for stepping up to the plate. You are doing something amazing.
Do you have a grandchild who is always on the go, so much so that you are becoming frazzled trying to keep up? If so, don’t be too hasty blaming your age. The problem could be primarily not with you, but with your grandchild.
One of the unique challenges of getting older is that our family relationships and family dynamics change with the passage of time. As a result, many women over 60 might find themselves navigating some uncertain emotional territory with their family relationships.
Every time your grandkids affectionately call you “Grandpa” or “Grandma,” they are doing a lot more than acknowledging their familial relationship to you. They are looking up to you as an older, wiser, more experienced role model.
Finding out that a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer can make it feel like the world is crashing down around you. Dr. Phil says, “When one person gets cancer, the whole family gets cancer.” As hard as it is for you, imagine how your loved one feels dealing with cancer. Keeping this in mind may help you provide more compassionate support. It’s okay to be afraid. Do research, ask questions, and offer your assistance where you can.
Award winning journalist and writer, Ellen Pober Rittberg, joins me in this edition of the Sixty and Me show. She shares her insights about the unique life experiences and relationships that grandmothers can share with their grandchildren.
Although you came from another generation, growing up without all of the advantages and conveniences of modern technology that today’s children enjoy, you were once a child, too.
While every person is in many ways unique, what we all have in common is that we are part of a family. That family may be large or small, closely knit, or spread out and fragmented. Some of those we were especially close to are no longer with us, while there may be recent new additions to the family. Many families today are blended — a joining together of different races, religions, and cultures.