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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

What kind of grandma will I be?

March 3, 2014

Word has it in early June I’ll be joining the ranks of grandmothers around the world. Lots of people have been congratulating me. While I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the well-wishers, whenever I hear the words I can’t help thinking: “Congratulations for what?” All I did was give birth to my wonderful son and help to raise him into an awesome young man who is a loving husband and will, undoubtedly, become a stellar dad. Hmm. Guess I will accept a few props after all, thank you.

Smile, Grandma

Smile, Grandma

As David and prepare to meet and greet our grandson, I’ve been considering the kind of grandmother I aspire to be. But the thing is, I don’t know from grandmas. Yes, technically, I had two… as so many do, but I lost them long, long ago, which, as Oscar Wilde pointed out, was “very careless.” Grandma #1 died before I was born. I would have been her 4th granddaughter and 9th grandchild. Not likely she and I would have had a bunch of bonding time together. Grandma #2 died when I was four. I was her 5th granddaughter. (Another girl? How special!) From old photos, it’s hard to imagine she enjoyed children much… or life, for that matter.

Of course, I’ve observed grannies in films and pop culture. Most are kindly, affectionate and infinitely patient. Most come with a requisite twinkle, dimples, and ample breasts. They love to knit and garden. On Chopped and Top Chef, 9 out of 10 contestants apparently got their first culinary training in grandma’s kitchen. So there’s that too.

What kind of Granny Annie will I be? I’ll figure it out as I go along (and blog about it, no doubt) but here’s what I’ve got so far:

  1. I will show my grandson, from Day One, that I’m delighted with and grateful for this opportunity to get to know him.
  2. I am here to help him understand that he is part of a family that loves him unconditionally and can teach him essential things about love, trust, respect, compassion and finding fun and humor in life.
  3. I am here to help him understand and appreciate himself and to use his talents for good.
  4. I am here to help him understand emotions (his own and other people’s).
  5. I am here to help him develop a moral compass and the social courage to do the right thing.
  6. I am here to help him explore his interests so he can best find his path.
  7. I am here to read to him, tell him stories, play games, share silly songs and teach him how to make bagels from scratch.
  8. I am here to help him understand and appreciate the natural world and the world of people.
  9. I am here to be his teacher, his champion, and a safe person to come to no matter what’s going on.
  10. I am here to be his friend.

If you are a grandparent, I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from your grandchildren and what you’ve taught them. I’m taking notes.

Filed under: Grandparenting,Parenting — Tags: , , — Annie @ 3:08 pm


  1. Beautifully written Granny Annie.

    Comment by Rowland Hughes — March 3, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

  2. Congratulations! Why? Because you are about to embark on something you don’t even fully understand the coolness of yet. I have been Glammie for a little over two years now. We only had boys, all of us, so having a little girl in our midst is just so amazing and different. I feel like my place is to show her that women can be strong and smart and that she can do anything she wants to in life. I will be there to support her. One thing I’ve learned is to keep my mouth shut even better than when it was just my son and his wife. I love them, they are good parents. They don’t need me to butt into the middle of that. It’s not always easy but they know we are here for them and the glambaby. I love that little girl more than I can (or could have) even imagined. I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait to see your joy. 🙂

    Comment by Lauri Rottmayer (@LauriRottmayer) — March 3, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

  3. Thank you for taking the time to write this, Lauri. Sounds like you are having a whole lot of fun being a glammie. Fun while you’re learning and teaching the little ones, too. My idea of a perfect gig!

    Comment by Annie — March 3, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

  4. Thank you, Rowland. It was an eye-opening experience to write it.

    Comment by Annie — March 3, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

  5. Larry and I are so lucky we’ll be co-grandparenting with you and David!

    Comment by Susan Jebrock — March 4, 2014 @ 9:55 am

  6. We feel the exact same, Susan. :O))

    Comment by Annie — March 4, 2014 @ 2:11 pm

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