28 Tips to Become a Great Grandpa
Russell Y. Anderson
Bonneville (an imprint of CFI, 2011
Reviewed by Russell Y Anderson for the Association for Mormon Letters
This book does provide some tips about becoming a better Grandpa, but it is
more than a book of suggestions. This book is meant to get you thinking, a
workbook for a grandpa to use to become the best he can be. Along the way we
get a lot of fun and humor to help the developing grandpa. "Be a grandpa you'd
like to be. Choose a few of the actions this book has inspired in you and make
them habits. Be a great grandpa!" (p. 126)
As expected, the book touches on many aspects of a great grandpa. These
include such items as: Rules, Life, Wisdom, Food and Mealtime, Holidays, Work,
Outdoors, School, Sports, Dress & Appearance, etc. But most importantly this
book talks about the importance of time with your grandchildren. All these
suggestions require an interaction with your family and grandchildren. "Don't
wait. You'll be dead all too soon. Spend time with your grandkids even if you
don't have it. If you don't have it now, you never will. You're old. Hurry up
and take the time to slow down."(p. 14)
Here are some excerpts from a few of the many sections in this book:
Rules - "1. Always obey Grandma--except when she's not looking . . .
2. Always obey the rules parents have set down for their children--except when the
parents aren't looking . . .
3. Always act with the decorum befitting your age--except when no other adults are looking . . .
4. Don't be a grouchy, grumpy grandpa!" (p. 3-4)
Life - "The goal is to teach what you have learned to your grandkids, it is
too late to teach it to your kids."(p. 5)
"Give them you life story. If you
can, write it. If you can't write, tell it. Tell it a little at a time. Tell
it over and over again. Tell it with pictures. Tell it with mementos. Tell it
with keepsakes. Tell them why you are who you are. Tell them of choices, right
and wrong, that made you who you are. Tell them of your parents and
grandparents: where they were from, what they did, who they were. Give them a
sense of life larger than their own tiny circle. You are the passageway to a
world of their family history."(p. 5-6)
Wisdom - "When a child needs a listening ear, listen. After you've listened
for an hour or so, a child may be open to a single sentence of your wisdom.
Never make the mistake of trying to impart any more than that. It will be lost
Food and Mealtime - "Grandmas are usually the ones who make really good food.
Grandpas are in charge of making sure it gets eaten properly. Have you shown
you grandkids how many grapes you can fit in your mouth? Have you taught them
that it's only proper to eat olives when they're stuck on a finger? Are they
aware that sneaking tastes before the meal is served or having dessert first
are the norms, not forbidden?"(P. 29)
Reading Stories - "Ham it up. Shock you grandkids. Make their parents ashamed
of you. Read stories like no one else will. Be a grandpa. . . . make sure
there are growls, grunts, groans, and gotchas in any story you read. Anything
less is for grandma."(p. 74)
Love - "Parents are for discipline. Grandma is for protecting the furniture.
School teachers are for the three R's. Grandpas should only teach mayhem, fun
and some serious life lessons that aren't easily gained from less-experienced
Mr. Barber has provided some great ideas to get us thinking. You can tell that
he wants to be a great grandpa, but he wants the rest of us to be great
grandpas too. This book provides some great ideas and thoughts for action to
complete the transformation to a perfect grandpa.