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You're not a sweet, dear old thing-but you're still a grandparent and you love your grandkids. You want to be a fantastic grandparent. But it's not as easy as advertised.
Maybe you think those grand kids are spoiled. Maybe your own kids are making all kinds of parenting mistakes, but they don't want to hear any advice-especially from you. Or maybe you think you're just too young and cool to be a grandparent.
These are just some of the challenges facing the Woodstock Generation as they assume a new role-grandparent. And Robert Lipsyte's panel has some pretty great advice to help ease the transition. There's Allan Zullo, author of The Boomer's Guide to Grandparenting, therapist Iris Cornelius whose practice focuses on intergenerational issues in families; and therapist Joshua Coleman, author of When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies for When You and Your Grown Children Don't Get Along.
According to the panel, Boomers are often wealthier, better educated, and younger looking, than their own grandparents. "My kids dress like I do, and they listen to same music," says Coleman. Their advice? Be cautious: don't give advice that's not asked for. If you want to open up a dialogue, start admitting your own mistakes as a parent.
Next Lipsyte sits down with a leading advocate of compassionate and reasoned elder care. Dartmouth geriatrician Dennis McCullough, author of My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing Slow Medicine, the Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones, provides practical tips on how to transform late life health care to a more humane experience. It's a conversation that no Boomer with an aging parent should miss.
Finally, Juan Williams of Fox News and National Public Radio, author of the best-seller, Eyes on the Prize, contemplates the nagging question: Am I middle-aged or just plain old?