The Sixty Minute Grandparent Review

9 July 2013

I am sure that most of the older generation will get excited by the title of this book. Fitting grandparenting in within a sixty minute time frame? Brilliant, I can do that while I rush between club meetings, coach trips, getting the house redecorated, going on holiday, going to see bands, going to festivals ...

Am I a little bit jealous of the older, child-free generation? Well not really but I am a bit annoyed. Didn't their parents sit around at home, waiting to help with childcare? When did 70 become the new 17?

Well, anyway, they will be disappointed. Ha ha. Despite the title, this book by Rob Parsons, is about learning how to be the best grandparent you can be - in sixty minutes. So I gave it to a mum who is about to become a (step) grandparent for the first time later this year. That would *cough* er be me! Yes indeed, the little five year old I remember so well is now a grown up, married woman about to start a family of her own. I kinda feel a bit lost really. Just how do you grandparent?

This is it, the book for every first time Nanny or Grandad. Give it to them as a way of telling them they're about to become Grandparents! Or give it to them in return for all those delightful parenting books they've pressed on you.

Or maybe you're about to become a grandparent, and would just like some basic pointers. The Sixty Minute Grandparent by Rob Parsons is subtitled 'Becoming the best grandparent you can be'. Priced at £11.99 in hardback, the book is published by Hodder & Stoughton.

I am not sure why the book cover is illustrated with a picture of an ice cream sundae. Perhaps to show that being a grandparent is all about the fun?

But in fact it isn't. Not always, not for everyone. For a very small book, numbering around 120 pages, the book certainly runs the gamut. It covers the tough stuff too grandparenting at a distance, grandparenting when a child is special needs, grandparenting when a child is tragically lost.

What I liked, apart from the big typeface which is nice and easy on my ageing eyes, is that it is all in easy to read, bite sized chunks. There's a summary at the end of each chapter too, a little 'sixty second' page.

I felt a little bit let down in the step grand parenting section. It takes the view that you are becoming a step-grandparent because your child is marrying someone who already has children. Although it talks about how to grandparent in a blended family, it doesn't cover the issues that might be faced by a step-parent, whose step-child is becoming a parent. Especially in a situation where you have been involved in that child's life since they were very little.

But other than that I did indeed find it very useful, and very practical. I doubt it is anywhere near in depth enough. But that's not what you want. What you are want are the handy hints and tips that will let you find your own way, and this book gives you that.

I doubt I'd have bought it at the full price of £11.99. Even for a hardback, at this size, it is expensive. I do think it would make a fabulous gift.

Pros: fairly thorough, covers the tough stuff you need to know as well as the fun

Cons: not enough on being a step grandparent, a little pricey

Overall verdict: 9 / 10

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