Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dr. Spock Has Left the Building!

A woman I work with is expecting her first grandchild this fall. Her daughter has asked her to go to Grand-parenting class and she is incensed! "I don't need to go to class to know what to do with a runny nose. I raised two kids of my own." At that point, tears began to fill her eyes and I knew she was very upset about her daughter's request. (Do you get how perceptive I am?)

So, being me, I googled "grand-parenting classes" and was pretty surprised by the result (4 million results in .32 seconds). Seems that these classes are a pretty popular thing right now, the primary reason being that so many things have changed since "we" had kids. The way you put a baby in the crib is one, of course. That seems to change every year as more research about SIDS comes out. But one thing was a complete surprise to me. Baby powder. One thing most people say about a baby is "Oh, I love the way they smell." Well, not any more! Turns out it's not good for some babies to breathe baby powder as it can cause breathing difficulties. I have no idea what the substitute is because, you guessed it, I haven't been to grand-parenting class!

Some classes include a section on infant massage and baby CPR, but most seem to be geared toward bridging the gap between new parent and grandparent. Tips on how to keep your mouth shut and back off might be a good starting point for those classes, but it seems to be about bringing the new grand-parent up to speed on what parents are learning in their maternity and parenting classes, just to be sure that everyone is on the same page. If you know why the new parents are making certain choices and decisions about parenting, it seems like it would go a long way in refraining from comments like "When you were a baby, I did such and such."

My advice is not to be offended if your son or daughter suggests a grand-parenting class. No telling what you'll learn and that narrowed communication gap will be priceless. Besides, you can always sneak a peek at Dr. Spock in the privacy of your own home.

1 comment:

Juleah said...

I did not know that such a thing existed. If I had the opportunity I would have suggested that my mom attend. Not that she needs help being a good Nana, that comes naturally, she is amazing. But, it is very true that this generation does things so differently then past generations. There are many "don't do's" that use to be "do do's". I felt like I spent so many hours trying to explain to her why we do things the way we do now and during the process probably made her feel inadequate. It would have been so much nicer to let someone else explain these things to her so it didn't feel like I was harping on her all the time. I hope you will be able to explain to your friend that it will be a very positive thing for her and her daughter. It would be very nice to have your mom on the same page and help encourage you in way you choose to do things instead of constantly suggesting old ways.