Thanksgiving theatrics: Family fun galore courtesy What Happens at Grandma's

Thanksgiving theatrics: Family fun galore courtesy What Happens at Grandma's

My friend Grandma Joyce from What Happens at Grandma's has done it again: crafted a creative and clever holiday activity for kids! This time it's for Thanksgiving, and this time it's unique among Thanksgiving arts and crafts found online because it's performance art — a three-act play for grandkids to perform for friends and family on Turkey Day. Thank you for sharing, Joyce!

The kids don't know it yet, but they're going to superstar in a post-dinner Thanksgiving play at grandma's this year. Considering their love of theatrics, I'm confident they'll gobble up this opportunity right along with savory sweet potatoes served on the rapidly approaching family day of thankful...

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On adult children: Learning the boundaries of communication (guest post)

Dear readers: This guest post was written by my grandma friend and fellow GRANDparent Network member Donne Davis of GaGa Sisterhood. Thank you so much for sharing this wisdom on the tricky-at-times relationship between parents and their adult children, Donne.

mother and adult daughter

When it comes to communicating with your adult children, where do you get stuck? I posed this question to the 25 GaGas attending our January 15 meeting and added, is it around discipline, visitation, values or boundaries?

All of the above, and more, they answered. One member said: “All I have to do is open my mouth and my son misinterprets what I’m saying.” Another joked: “OMG! Just asking ‘how are you’ can trigger...

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What moms want from grandparents (guest post)

Dear readers: Tis the season of giving, and one of the best gifts you can give — all year long — is understanding. Here, my friend and fellow GRANDparent Network member Donne Davis of GaGa Sisterhood offers insight to help us grandparents better understand the mothers of our beloved grandkiddos and what they most want from us in our grand role.

What Moms Want from Grandparents

grandmothers, mother, daughter

As I was writing my book, When Being a Grandma Isn’t So Grand: 4 Keys to L.O.V.E. Your Grandchild’s Parents, I realized that in order to help us grandmas improve our relationship with our grandchild’s parents — especially their mothers — we need to hear what moms have to say about the grandparent relationship.

I surveyed over 50 moms and asked them what they want from the grandparents. Many moms...

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Creating kindness in your life (Guest post)

Dear readers: This guest post was written by Kay and Leslie of GrandparentsLink, my fellow members in the GRANDparent Network. Considering the lack of kindness and compassion across our country the last far too many months thanks to the hostile political climate and anxiety following the election, the wisdom Kay and Leslie offer here is particularly worthy of reading, sharing, putting into practice.


Creating kindness in your life

As grandparents, we want to inspire our grandchildren, and one of the best ways to do this is by "doing" simple acts of kindness. The old adage about "setting an example" certainly...

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The hero of the holidays: 4 ways to bring family together

Dear readers: I've flown to the desert to be with my grandsons for a few days! As I play hooky, I'd like to share with you this helpful holiday-themed guest post from author and speaker Margery Leveen Sher.

heart ornament

The hero of the holidays: 4 ways to bring family together

Ah, the holidays are upon us. What does it bring to your mind? Catching up with relatives you haven’t seen for a while? Gorging on turkey and treasured, old family recipes? Enjoying...

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GRAND guest post: 6 tips to keep grandchildren reading all summer

Dear readers: This article originally appeared on the GRAND Magazine website, one of my partners in providing grandparents with quality information and inspiration. I publish it here with their permission.

grandma and grandson reading together

Parents and grandparents are the child’s first and foremost teachers. They play an important role in teaching children to read and—maybe just as importantly—to love reading. Now that summer...

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Encourage grandkids to learn more about science and nature during playtime

Dear readers: As I mentioned yesterday, I'm off playing in the desert with my grandsons. In light of that, I offer you here a guest post of sorts — playtime suggestions courtesy StatePoint Media.

dinosaur toys

Have any budding scientists in your family? If your grandchildren are fascinated by nature, dinosaurs, and other cool science subjects, you can help foster their interests by turbo-charging their playtime to fit their favorite topics.

"Learning is not just for the classroom or a formal setting," says Dr. Lise Eliot, early childhood...

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8 types of mothers-in-law kept out of the loop by their children (Guest post)

Dear readers: Please enjoy this guest post from Miriam Hendeles of Bubby Joys and Oys, who offered to share her thoughts (and photos) while I'm away at the Life@50+ conference in Boston.
Thank you, Miriam! ~Lisa

Miriam's grandsons

You're a well-meaning grandmother, not a demanding bully who gives your adult kids...

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5 reasons why grandkids love Grandma

Today I'm pleased to share with you a guest post highlighting a point of view from the other side of grandmotherhood.

Guest post by Sara Dawkins, written especially for Grandma's Briefs readers

As a grandchild and great grandchild, I have been blessed to know my grandma and two great-grandmothers on a deeper level than most. As a grandmother you may think that we grandchildren love you for your never-ending candy supply and your gift-giving ability, but believe it or not there is more. When I was younger there were a handful of things that kept me loving my grandmother, and as an older grandchild I whole-heartedly still adore the following things:

Your smell: This may seem weird at first sight (or scent) but you have a smell. Whether it is the same perfume that grandfather has been giving to you on your birthday for the past the twenty-eight years or your Dial hand soap, we love it. It is amazing how much scent can stir up memories and feelings. Stick to what you are doing and don’t change!

Holidays: The colors, the music, the smells, the laughter, the cookies, and the food! Spending the holidays with grandmother is like living in a movie. Every December, grandchildren get excited and giggly at the thought of spending time with you in your kitchen or eating at the family table.

Your hugs: There is something different about a grandmother’s hug. Your hug seems softer but stronger, warm and safe. A grandmother’s hug is usually paired with a quick swaying movement and followed with some sort of adoration for us. Never underestimate the power of a grandmother’s hug.

Your jewelry: Oh my! As I child I could spend hours rifling through Grandma’s jewelry box. A granddaughter trying on her grandmother’s jewelry for the first time is the moment when a little girl realizes she wants to grow up and be a grandmother with tons of necklaces and bracelets. Playing dress up is a must!

Your kitchen: Grandmothers are the masters of their kitchens. Watching grandma gracefully hurry from the stove to the fridge and back is almost an art form. Not to mention the finished products you whip up in no time. King Ranch Chicken. My grandmother would stomp her foot if she knew that was my favorite dish she cooked. Cooking side by side with your grandmother is one of the most memorable moments of any child’s life.

So as a professional grandchild, I would like to say this: Grandmothers, we love and adore you as much as you love and adore us. Keep that cookie jar full and those arms open.

Author Bio
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of a nanny agency. Learn more about her here.

Have you voted? If you liked this post—and Grandma's Briefs in general—please vote for Grandma's Briefs in the Favorite Grandparent Blog poll. Vote once per day per email address through March 21. Thank you!

Today's question:

Why did/do you love your grandma(s)?

Grilling the guest

I once was approached by a woman I'd never met, online or off, who asked if she could write a guest post for Grandma's Briefs. Other than a guest-post trading stint featured as part of a SITS activity, I had never published guest posts here. Funny thing was, I was swamped and in desperate need of help. So I said yes, Grandtravel was published, and a stranger named Mary had saved the day. End of story.

Or so I thought.

Not too long ago, I was contacted again by Mary, with an idea for another post, wondering if I might want to publish it. Again, she had come along at exactly the right time, exactly when I needed her. I published Grandparents can be fun AND consistent, and once more, Mary — now no longer a stranger — saved the day.

That's still not the end of the story, though.

The rest of the story is that the guest-post-writing stranger named Mary, the woman who saved my butt the this week's Grilled Grandma.

You've read her articles on grandparenting (and if not, go ahead, read them, then come back). Now it's time to read about her. Please give it up—meaning the clicks and the comments—for Grilled Grandma: Mary, an online angel who somehow magically knew I needed her, even before I knew that I did.

Now that, dear readers, is the end of the story. At least for now.

Call for guest posts: I'd like to throw a guest post or two into the mix during the time I'm away meeting my new grandson. If you would like to submit a 300- to 600-word post on any grandparenting topic (no ads or promotions, please), please e-mail it to me by Tuesday, June 14 for consideration and possible inclusion. Openings are limited, but I hope to fit in a few. Thank you!

Today's question:

When has a stranger made a difference in your life?

Guest post: Grandparents can be fun AND consistent

“Mommy lets me stay up late”: How you can have fun and be consistent as a grandparent

by Mary Albert

Grandparenting is a lot of fun. I have a great time with my grandchildren when they come to visit, no matter what we end up doing. Even a lazy day around the house becomes much more entertaining when you’ve got kids to keep you busy.

I struggled, at first, because I didn’t know the rules and etiquette of being a grandparent. I have learned a few things, though, and it has made a world of difference.

I guarantee the first time that I kept my oldest grandson, David, overnight he was old enough to pull the ‘but Mommy lets me’ routine, and I was gullible enough to fall for it. I wanted to be fun, after all, and I didn’t realize that it was a bad thing. I learned quickly that this is NOT the way to do things.

You have to be consistent and make sure that you follow the rules that the parents have set forth. Not only was David not allowed to stay up past 8:00 on Fridays (he was 7 at the time), but there were other rules I accidentally broke during that visit as well. There wasn’t any permanent damage, but I did create a little tension with my daughter that could have been avoided.

You’re a grandparent and it’s supposed to be fun. However, kids need structure and they need to respect you. If you give into their every whim and don’t follow the rules that their parents have, you’re going to create a difficult situation for yourself and the kids.

I still give my grandkids cookies before dinner and take them to get ice cream for no reason at all, but I do try to follow the basic rules that my daughters have set out for them so that I don’t get the kids too spoiled.

Trust me; it’s better to be a fun grandparent that follows the rules than to have grandkids who are too spoiled to really appreciate your time together.

Mary Albert is a blogger for a senior lifestyle web site that provides advice for the 55+ age group as well as information on medical alert systems.

Photo: stock.xchng

Today's question:

What rule(s) do you break on a regular basis, with grandkids or otherwise?

Guest post: Grandtravel

Bubby and Megan arrived last night so I sincerely thank Mary at for the following guest post submission which allowed me to enjoy my visitors from the get-go instead of fretting about a Friday post. Plus, it's perfect timing for grandparents considering their summer travel plans. Enjoy! ~ Lisa

Grandtravel provides opportunities for quality time

On, we recently did a post about the perks of grandtravel, a new type of traveling that anyone can enjoy during their retirement. What is this mysterious grandtravel, you might ask? Let me explain it to you because it can be really amazing. Quite simply put, this is the practice of taking vacations with your grandchildren. There are certainly many benefits to be had from this type of travel, most namely that you can spoil the grandchildren to your heart's content without their pesky parents stepping in and telling them (or you) "no" about anything.

I've always loved to travel, which is what I've been doing with most of my retirement. I've taken a few trips with my own grandchildren, and let me tell you it definitely creates a time to remember. When kids get older, they tend to have less in common with us boring grandparents, so taking advantage of these opportunities while they are young will give the both of you memories to cherish for a lifetime.

I remember one trip where I took my 6-year-old granddaughter with me to visit Florida. She, of course, loved the beaches and the shopping and all the money that Grandma spent on her. I loved having the company, and especially having the livelihood of a young one around because it made the trip all the more fun and exciting than if I had went alone.

I do love my relaxing getaways, so don't get me wrong. However, I've realized that in my retirement I can have all the relaxation and privacy that I want at home. Why not enjoy my time traveling with the people that I love the most? Plus, by taking my granddaughter without her parents, we had more fun and I was able to spoil her to my wit's end, which is just what I love to do.

If you want to spend more time with the grandkids, take them on vacation. Just remember, it'll be more fun if you leave Mom and Dad at home.

• Contributed by Mary Albert, a blogger for, a senior lifestyle and senior health web site that provides advice for the 55+ age group as well as medical alert reviews.

Photo courtesy

Today's question:

What are your summer travel plans ... so far?