I am looking for anonymous stories and experiences from grandparents for a new book being written by Gloria Hunniford.
Gloria’s book will be a personal account of what it is to be a grandmother. But while it will be filled with uplifting and happy stories and memories, Gloria’s book also has a serious side - acknowledging that for a modern-day grandparent, life isn’t always easy.
It will touch on many of the issues that grandparents face such as divorce and limited access to their grandchildren, feelings of being ‘taken for granted’ as a childminder and managing views on manners, discipline, food and other aspects of raising a child.
By drawing on the experiences of many other grandparents, Gloria will offer practical advice and guidance on these emotive subjects.
As part of the research for the book it would be great to hear your own personal experiences of grandparenting and your answers to the questions below.
(* These details are purely for follow up phone interviewing. All names and details will be changed to make sure the stories and experiences cannot be recognized.)
1. Did you find that your relationship with your child shifted when he/she became a parent themselves. If so, in what way? How did this make you feel?
2. Sometimes your relationship with your child’s new partner can create difficulties. Has this happened to you? Any examples of stories and how did you manage the highs and lows? Vice versa - is your child the one being difficult while their partner acts as peace-maker?
3. What issues and difficulties have been raised in managing your views on childrearing, manners, discipline, bedtime, TV, routines and food?
4. Have you ever felt dumped on by your children or their partners. Did it feel like you were expected to drop everything to look after the kids?
5. Would you like more access to your grandchildren than you’re getting? Have you brought this up? What reception did you get? Did you get more access? Have such issues gone as far as court?
6. Any good ideas for keeping the kids occupied? Any games or special days out you can recommend? How do you keep up with their changing interests. Have you embraced modern technology?
7. Have you ever experienced rivalry with your grandchild’s other grandparents? Or do you have touching stories of bonding over your grandchildren?
8. Any stories about how divorce or death have affected your role as a grandparent. Did you feel a little forgotten at this time? How did you cope yourself?
9. What are the golden rules of being a good grandparent?
10. Can you give examples of the sheer joy of being a grandparent? What are you fondest memories? Any priceless moments that you will cherish forever or that made you laugh.
11. Do you have a favourite grandchild or is it important to you to deal equally with all grandchildren. Do you plan to leave money/inheritance/trust funds to them all? Have you addressed that with them or their parents?
12. Any other stories whether tricky or touching which you believe are important for other grandparents to read about?