Grandparenting is more important than ever. It’s also much harder to do than a generation ago. This is the first in a series about grandparenting.
The internet puts information instantly at our fingertips, but separating sales pitches from real knowledge takes time. Google advertisements and sales content make it hard to find knowledge not designed to sell products or services, or to steal your personal identity. As a trusted advisor on personal financial issues, we help clients achieve their goals in life and that includes non-financial goals like helping your children raise their children.
In two-thirds of American households, two spouses work full-time, often thrusting grandparents into a central role in raising a child. With this in mind, we recommend signing up for a free account at Coursera.com and subscribing to a course entitled, “Everyday Parenting,” which is taught by Yale University Professor Alan E. Kazdin, Ph.D., ABPP. Coursera enables you to schedule to schedule spending 10 or 20 minutes daily to complete the 21-hour course. Or you can just skim the course.
Dr. Kazdin’s course teaches grandparents behavior-change techniques, with step-by-step instructions and demonstrates ways to teach a child the behaviors you want to encourage. Simple changes in the tone of voice and phrasing are explained, as well as common parenting misconceptions and ineffective techniques. Moreover, the course provides a common language for parents and grandparents to discuss parenting skills and methods, making it easier to collaborate.
Educational resources about parenting skills didn’t change much in the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and 90s. However, in the past 25 years, resources for learning about the requisite strategies and skills to raise a child were transformed by technology.
Before the internet, parents typically acquired knowledge about raising a child by buying a book. For decades, the most well-known book was “Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care.” Now in its tenth edition, this classic on parenting is updated with information about immunizations, screen-time, childhood obesity, and modern problems not present when it was first published in 1946, and it’s sold by Amazon in audiobook, paperback, and Kindle digital-reader formats.
Education about parenting keeps improving as technology enables access to more experts and resources. We plan to update this series at least quarterly with new resources for grandparents about caring for a newborn, teaching toddlers, and getting through to adolescents. Please send suggestions and questions.