Grandparenting with faith

Marilyn McEntyre and Shirley Showalter are grounded and experienced guides.

From the no-nonsense advice of Grandma Babs to the gauzy linen chic of #CoastalGrandma, today’s grandmas are trending in the online world. At their best, they are witty dispensers of everyday help and calming voices of home-centered wisdom amid our fractured families. Other times they offer gasps of vanity from postretirement women in sherbet-colored pants picking peonies while clean toddlers behind them clutch cuttings of their own. As lengthening life spans, remote working conditions, and the reach of technology leave few corners untouched, the roles of parenting and grandparenting are changing. How we negotiate those changes may leave us floundering.

Into this space comes The Mindful Grandparent, coauthored by professors, writers, and grandmothers Marilyn McEntyre and Shirley Showalter. They are grounded and experienced guides in navigating the new identities birthed in that liminal space that emerges when our children have children. With confidence that every elder has something to offer the next generation, McEntyre and Showalter weave a sensitive and practical guidebook for all who want to engage meaningfully and respectfully with their adult children and their grandchildren. They offer language and skills in how to bridge the expectations of our adult children with our own aspirations for the next generation.

Written in bite-size chapters of three to four pages, The Mindful Grandparent is organized around learning moments—that is, moments of connection and meaning that grandparents especially may share with the little people in their lives. The generational differences offered by homes with even “slightly slower rhythms” mean we may be able to offer “refuge, respite, or periodic reframing of what our grandchildren have come to think of as ‘normal.’”