GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018 - 30

ask dr. gramma karen

Holiday visits with grandparents who live
in a condominium

A	
  Must--‐Read	
  for	
  
Grandparents

BY KAREN L. RANCOURT

M

any grandparents living in condominiums
and apartments in warm climates look forward to their grown children and grandchildren visiting them over the holidays. In fact, many
grandparents buy a unit with a second or third bedroom in anticipation of these visits.
However, many young parents think twice about these
visits because some of the other residents make it known
that they don't appreciate having other residents' grandchildren around. They show their disapproval with stony
looks and meant-to-be overheard comments, e.g., "Must
be school vacation time. That takes care of our peace and
quiet." More than one young parent has thought about
staying in a local hotel, or not visiting at all - actions that
deprive the grandparents of special time living with their
grandchildren and fussing over them.

Three ways to make these
visits more enjoyable.
1. Align with other
grandparents

Many condominiums come with a
ready-made support group for grandparents.
For example, according to the 2010 US Census,
in many counties in Flordia, the 65+ population
comprises 20%. This statistic can work to advantage
because it means that there are lots of other grandparents around who also want their grandchildren to visit.
30 GRAND

NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2018

Get to know these other grandparents, chat with them,
learn the names of their grandchildren and arrange for
your grandchildren to play with them. A large group of
grandparents and grandchildren socializing together
in common areas like the pool or beach can intimidate
even the grumpiest of the grumpy ones into silence!

2. Be proactive

Get out in front of potential problems. For example,
if there is a group of people in the pool taking a water
aerobics class or just "bobbing" together, approach them
and let them know that your grandchildren would like to

use the other end of the pool and that you just want to
make sure the children won't be bothering them. Then
every now and then, circle back to the adults to make
sure your grandkids aren't disturbing them. This show of
respect for them can go a long way, especially when one
of the grumpy ones begins to complain about your kids.
Typically, someone will say something like, "Oh, I have
grandchildren! Don't worry about it. They're fine."

3. Teach lobby manners

Teaching this simple phrase, "I want to see lobby
manners, please," when the grandchildren are young
can short-circuit all kinds of situations in condominium
or apartment living. The kids know the phrases means,
for example, no racing in the lobby or hallways, no
shouting or roughhousing, no pushing all the buttons
in the elevator.
These three suggestions can help make it possible
for the grandchildren visiting their grandparents in their
condos and apartments to have fun together while at
the same time being respectful of the other residents.

Look	
  Inside
"This	
  book...set	
  me	
  
straight.	
  I	
  wasn't	
  sure	
  
where	
  my	
  boundaries	
  
were	
  as	
  a	
  grandma..."
"Karen	
  identifies	
  the	
  
cause	
  and	
  effect	
  of	
  
family	
  issues	
  in	
  plain	
  
and	
  simple	
  language."
--‐	
  Amazon.com	
  Reviewers

Karen L. Rancourt, Ph.D., writes
an advice column for parents and
grandparents at Mommybites.com
and is the author of Ask Dr. Gramma
Karen, Volume II: Savvy Advice to
Help Soothe Parent-Grandparent
Conflicts.

Show me the book!


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GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018

Contents
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018 - 1
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018 - 2
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018 - 3
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2018 - 5
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