Assist with Research on the Role of Grandparents

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I was recently contacted by Kathie Schlaerth, a Catholic mom and grandmother, and a physician and researcher who is writing on the role of aging and grandparents. Kathie shared the following, and would love your insights and stories on the topic of grandparenting.  You are invited to comment below or to email her at [email protected].

Many health care workers have encountered one or  two memorable patients whose courage or individuality they remember across the decades. One of my most memorable was a feisty eighty year old who shepharded four toddlers and preschoolers to the clinic where I was doing an internship in pediatrics . It turned out that she was their caretaker while her grandchildren were at work, and after school added a couple more great grandchildren to her roster. She showed not a sign of fatigue; in fact seemed quite a joyous person.

As a pediatric geriatrician I have been intrigued by the roles played by grandparents and even great grandparents as the glue in many families, and am in the process of slowly writing a book which will cover not only the physiology of aging (and how to combat loss of function) but also the roles grandparents have played through history and prehistory in supporting their offspring.  I would love to speak with parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents about their experiences, and am looking especially at how grandparents pass on the Faith, the  how-to of cross cultural and distance grandparenting, the challenges of being put in the position of raising one’s grandchildren, helping special needs grandchildren (autistic, seriously ill etc)  and supporting one’s own children and children in law under stressful circumstances. Actually, any anecdotes, words of wisdom, even good recipes would be appreciated.

To assist with Kathie’s research, comment below or contact her directly at [email protected].

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About Author

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of CatholicMom.com and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at LisaHendey.com. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaHendey and "like" her on Facebook @LisaMHendey.

1 Comment

  1. I am a first time grandmother. My grandson Joseph was born on November 18th, 2010. The joy of this is unbelievable! Taking care of him and helping my daughter to blossom into a wonderful mother is something a cherish. It actually energizes me rather than tires me.

    Having the value of experience and the perspective of hindsight is invaluable. It is a great gift to be able to say to my daughter, “Yes, I felt that way and I got past it.” Or to let her know that something is normal and will eventually resolve itself.

    Being able to offer a helping hand and baby sit for our grandson is our greatest pleasure in life. We sold our home of 20 years and moved an hour from everything we knew to be near our kids just so we could be available to do this for them.

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