By Susan Hartley
December 25, 2013
GRANDPARENTING BY TOM AND DEE AND COUSIN KEY
Here we go again with our annual customized review of highlights and lowlights from the year that was:
BEST TIMING: Did you know you were born at exactly the right time? According to a new study from America’s Federal Reserve Bank, grandparents had the unprecedented good fortune to benefit from rising value of wages, houses and securities, and were among the the first to benefit from Social Security and Medicare.
WORST TIMING: Grandchildren are getting deeper into grandparents’ pockets like never before. Thanks to their generosity, grandparents increasingly serve as the family financial safety net.
WORST FINANCIAL SCAM: Beware of scam artists bearing news that a grandchild is in a pickle they will fix for cash. One in every five seniors fall prey to scammers, says Investor Protection Trust.
BEST NON-TRADITIONAL TERM OF ENDEARMENT: Move over “Gramps” and “Granny.” Because it makes them feel old, traditional grandparent names are falling out of favor with Baby Boomers living in the fast lane. Are you ready for “Granddude?”
WORST ROLE MODEL: Try as we did, it was hard to get away from rocker Miley Cyrus in 2013. Bad taste and a little talent is all that’s required to generate fans, awards and sales. She makes the Beatles seem like saints.
BEST WAY TO KEEP ON SMILING: When the ravages of Father Time begin to impinge on your well-being and happiness, and the grandkids aren’t around to cheer you up, researchers advise you to remember the good times. Recalling accomplishments and/or moments of delight is the best method of warding off the blues.
BEST CONVERSATION STARTER: As more grandparents gain greater Internet mastery, they’re learning a shortcut to break the ice with the grandkids. Internet search engines produce a treasure trove of data about a grandchild’s world. If you searched for most admired athlete, you’d know that footballer Tim Tebow, Olympian Michael Phelps, sprinter Usain Bolt and baseballer Derek Jeter were the top four. With that in hand, a grandmother is good to go with her shy, sports-loving grandson.
WORST TOY OF 2013: Always hotly contested. Our choice may be something called the iPotty. “No more struggles to get little Bobby or Susie to use the potty,” reads ad copy for the plastic potty with an attached imitation computer screen. “With all the mesmerizing apps and videos, they’ll want to stay all day.” No thanks.
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GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Kenny from The Villages, Fla. was having a hard time convincing grandson Elias that 2013 would soon be gone forever.
“Instead of throwing it away, why not recycle it Gramps?”
“Well, we do, sort of. We start a New Year each January 1.”
“I don’t get it. Is it a new year or an old year?”
“It’s the same old year with 365 days and a new name,” said Kenny.
“This makes my math class seem easy,” said Elias.
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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.