GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 12

ask dr. gramma karen

The key to successful
parent-grandparent
relationships in two words
BY KAREN L. RANCOURT

A

s my friend was introducing me to a friend of hers, she mentioned to him that
I wrote an advice column for parents and grandparents. A grandfather himself,
he peppered me with questions. " How long had I been writing my column? "
Nine years. " How many columns have I written? " Around 325.
" Hmm, " he said, " that's a lot of columns. " I pointed out that nine years is a lot of
time. He looked thoughtful.
" So, " he continued, " what's the gist of your advice? " He seemed genuinely interested, so I took my time in thinking about " the gist " of my advice.
I explained that although the issues sent to me by parents and grandparents looking for my advice are unique to their particular situation, there are some common
themes. The root issues typically fit into one of five main categories: (1) Involvement
/ boundaries; (2) Communication; (3) Assumptions and expectations; (4) Power and
control; (5) Values, beliefs, and principles.
My advice for grandparents in two words
" Okay, " he persisted, " so what's your bottom-line advice for grandparents? "
" Well, " I said, " my general advice to grandparents distills to two words: Zip it! This
means cease and desist. Stop talking. Bite your tongue. " He seemed intrigued by this
notion of Zip it! and asked me to say more about it.

12 GRAND

WINTER 2021

Continued on next page


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GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021

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GRAND Magazine- Winter 2021 - 1
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