Dear Grandparenting: Kids grow up fast today. My grandchildren are no exception. When Noah was 12 he was kind of sweet and goofy. Then he met Lisa.
I did not meet Lisa. That will not be happening. Lisa is a little witch who got enjoyment by playing games with Noah’s head for five months. Now she is gone and Noah is miserable.
I know love hurts. The poor kid adored her. I am not big on handing out advice. If I made an exception, do you think it might help? Jan Minkowski, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dear Jan: You call it love, we’ll call it puppy love. Either way, it’s a bumpy ride for the losers in love’s game. Most people careen through a series of romantic relationships, but the memory of that first serious romantic entanglement lingers on.
Good things happen when grandparents dispense dating advice to their youthful grandchildren, according to recent research. When older family members make themselves available to talk things over, youngsters go on to enjoy quality romantic relationships marked by less conflict than families who sit idly by, according developmental psychologist Stephanie Madsen.
The trick, she says, is for adults to act as good non-judgmental listeners, capable of withholding their advice until it’s asked for.
Another study published in the journal Child Development called “striking” by reviewers validates the value of adult advice that helps grandchildren as young as age 10 make better romantic decisions.
From middle school on, the choice of romantic partners impacts a grandchild’s mental and social health. It’s another example of the positive payoff when grandparents develop and nurture open lines of communication with grandchildren.
Grand remark of the week
CC Bikoff from Nashville, Tennessee was talking with granddaughter Annie about the girls in her school.
After Annie had ticked off the names of her friends, CC asked who was popular.
“That’s easy,” said Annie. “Everyone likes Alex. She makes the best faces. She can even cross her eyes!”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.