This story was originally written by Jeff Somers for Barnesandnoble.
Becoming a grandparent is one of those magical moments in life—an opportunity to pass down wisdom, tradition, and hard-won experience. People fortunate enough to become grandparents are usually understandably thrilled at the prospect—but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a learning curve, or that there aren’t moments of doubt, confusion, and possibly panic. As usual, the best way to get ready is to read—or at least to have the right reference materials on hand. These books will ensure you’re ready for whatever your grandkids throw at you—literally, as in a pinch they can be used to bat projectiles aside.
Dr. Seuss Beginner Book, by Dr. Seuss
For the youngest, you simply can’t go wrong with a deep stock of Dr. Seuss’s classic books. This one includes all of the favorites and offers the potential for hours of quiet reading time—whether you’re doing the reading aloud or not. Dr. Seuss provides the ideal combination of language instruction, gentle coaching, and unfettered imagination. Plus, your kids read probably Dr. Seuss, and maybe you did too. Passing this tradition on to your grandkids is a beautiful thing.
Be the Best Grandparent, by The Grandparents’ Association
If you’re imagining being a grandparent is all ice cream and laughter, you must be new. Grandparenting is a relationship, and like all relationships, it can be a challenging one This fantastic book includes suggestions for activities that will bring you closer to your grandchildren, as well as coping strategies for the inevitable conflicts and dustups that happen to every family. Whether you have a deep network of peers going through the same things or find yourself as the only grandparent in your circle of friends, this book is a resource you’ll turn to time and time again.
Becoming Grandma, by Leslie Stahl
If you’re a first-time grandparent, Stahl’s exploration of her own status as a grandmother will be an eye-opening and comforting journey to share, offering up her own hard-won wisdom alongside a thorough journalistic dive into what grandparenting means to men and women across the country, from all socioeconomic strata. What Stahl finds is that grandparents today are younger, and their roles within families are changing—which means if you’re uncertain what your status as a grandparent means for you and your family, you’re not alone. That by itself makes this book invaluable.
How to Babysit a Grandma and a Grandpa, by Jean Reagan
If for some reason your grandkids aren’t used to you babysitting them, this wonderful book is an ideal way to ease them into the idea. Written for kids, the clever role-flip tells kids how to babysit you, instantly putting them in charge and making them more comfortable while teaching them proper behavior and coaching them in how to react to different possible scenarios. Even if it is a new experience for everyone involved, this book will make your first babysitting sessions a breeze.