In Honor of Grandparents Day 2022, This Grandma Shares the Top Ten Tips on Grand parenting and a Link To Best Tips in the Archives for New Grandparents

Grandparents Day, a day to show the bond between grandparents and grandchildren, is an official national holiday in the United States, signed by President Carter in 1978 and celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day. In 2022, National Grandparents Day is September 11.  For celebration ideas, go to “Do Something Grand.”

This Grandma’s mantra is that grand parenting should be all joy and no responsibility. Here are this Grandma’s top ten tips on grand parenting in honor of Grandparent’s Day:


Never say no to your grandchildren. Never say no to the parents of your grandchildren. Everyone remembers a no. And if a no is about to come out of your mouth: Distract. Don’t answer. Avoid the no at all costs. We do not immediately have to say yes to everything. If you get absolutely stuck, say “let me think about it and get back to you.” We can always think of an alternative that is a win-win.

What this really does is give the parents of your grandchildren the security of knowing you will always be there for them. Remember how hard parenting is? Everyone can use a helping hand.

If it is a safety issue, of course, the grandchildren must know that you will say no. If it is a discipline issue, I say “freeze,” and tell the grandchild I must go to get a parent. We both start laughing and the issue is gone. What this really does is let the grandchildren know you will always be there for them too.


After all, it contains all the food groups. And grandchildren will always eat pizza. We buy pizza pies and freeze individual slices to microwave at a moment’s notice when our grandchildren are visiting.

Or anything else they crave at any time. Spoil to grandma’s delight with food—unless there is an issue such as an allergy or parents’ weight or other concern for the child. After all, a balanced diet is not our responsibility. Remember, grandparenting should be all joy and no responsibility.


This Grandma always offers dessert first. Why not? We are on earth to spoil our grandchildren. The parents of our grandchildren have discovered that the grandchildren eat everything on their plates when they have dessert first and tried to steal this idea. No way. I am talking a little dessert first, a small ice cream cup or a small bag of M & Ms.—and more dessert after the grandchild finishes their food.


The parents of our grandchildren control access. They are literally the gatekeepers.  Access is most important to a grandparent. Learn quickly what is most important to the parents of the grandchildren and obey those rules. Otherwise, what they don’t know, won’t hurt them.


This Grandma tried to teach the oldest grandchild to say “grandma’ when he was eighteen months old. It came out ‘Mema,” and Mema I am.  I have since met many other ‘memas.” My name is special to me because my grandson could refer to me at eighteen months old by name. The next grandchildren called me ‘MiMi” for a while because they wanted to name me too. It is wonderful to be loved.


A signature is what the grandchild will always associate with you, a repetitive ritual or tradition that is yours and the grandchilds. A signature can be a visit present when you see the grandchild. You might have a signature candy or cookie you bring with you when you visit the grandchildren. Hide it in places they can find it when you are gone. Bake cookies when you are with them. They will always remember. This Grandma has small packages of M & Ms or chocolate kisses (now with white crème that has become a favorite) all the time.

A signature can be an activity of yours which you share with the grandchild. I have done yoga with my grandchildren since they were born, first with them looking up as I did ‘downward dog” over them and now when we do the tree pose or an inversion together.   I watch YouTube on the I Pad with my youngest grandchild.  Yes, there are many videos of opening Legos boxes and putting sets together.

A signature can be participating in their activity—taking them to sports or watching their sports. I know a grandpa who never misses a game as his grandchildren play sports. They remember this signature.

A signature can be an activity you teach your grandchild, whether it is needlepoint, or tennis, or cooking, or reading. . . .or a special hug or ritual whenever you see them. . . .or something they teach you. . . .

and, all of the above and more.


What this means is go to the level of the grandchild. When they were newborns, I lay flat on the floor looking at them, face to face, at the wonder of their being. If they are on the floor, I am on the floor. Is that why I was the first person whose arms they crawled in!

Now you might find me on the couch playing video games with them or in bed watching their favorite television shows together. When we are together their time is my time and my time is their time. Even a supermarket visit can turn into a game or adventure. Target is a favorite destination.


All of us remember rituals and traditions more than hours or minutes of the day we might spend together. Sharing holidays with grandchildren is the best. Plan outings, whether to the zoo, or museum or movies.

However it works for your lifestyle or family structure, think how to create memories that get passed down through the generations. Expand their horizons, and yours.

This grandma plans family long weekends every other year with the entire family. Then, I do a Shutterfly book memorializing the vacation. We take each of our grandchildren to New York City, and introduce them to theatre, museums, and tour places that are of interest to them which become special to us alone.

For a holiday present each year, when they were younger, I gave each grandchild a photo album of their year in pictures. Their parents have lots of digital pictures, but the album is treasured, tattered and viewed often, knowing that this Grandma made it with love.

And we can create good memories of their childhood for them by keeping their parents’ marriage strong—watch the grandchildren for 24 hours or a weekend quarterly to keep the intimate connection between their parents.


PopPop and I had the very first black and white telephone-video contraption on the market, Beamer TV, and we still have it—in a drawer. Skype is okay but when the grandchildren are active, it is problematic. Facetime is amazing. We have shown our grandchildren storms and sunsets in Florida, or just called to see their faces and hear their voices. We have watched them at recitals and events. The parents of our grandchildren are constantly sharing photographs and videos we keep on our electronics to view again and again.

Electronics are grandparents’ friends.  We have gotten all of our grandchildren’s favorite apps on our electronics so they can play their favorite games. And we are finding our mutual favorites, such as playing Words With Friends with our granddaughter.

The best is when the grandchild teaches me something new that I did not know before about my electronics. Ask the grandchild to teach you about the I pad. They know everything – starting as toddlers!

New apps make great visit presents—inexpensive and immediate gratification. Just make sure they are age appropriate. I like to check with the parents and the resource they also consider informative and conservative:


I love how the grandchildren light up and run toward us with open arms and hugs when we see them. How lucky are we to be around to share the life of the next generation! We are living longer and healthier. I never had grandparents being the child of Holocaust survivors. The love I feel for these four grandchildren goes deep to my soul. Yes, I tell them I love them to infinity and beyond. . . .and I do, with unbelievable



For those new grandparents among us this Grandparents Day 2022, here are links to the archives of great tips for new grandparents.



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