Interacting with your parents when you're a Grandma.

Mom,  Damilare , and Dad (L to R).

Mom, Damilare, and Dad (L to R).

You're a Grandma (or a GIT). You're certainly not the only one out there.  And yet, as a 20-something, you're in a unique position in that both (hopefully?) of your parents are alive and well and, well, distinctly not grandmas/pas. 

You frequently find yourself in situations that highlight your geriatricism.  You were home on a Friday night watching Caitlyn Jenner & Barbara Walters tear it up on the small screen when your slightly-drunken Mom and Dad rolled in to say hi to you and your dog on their way home from a night on the town.  Your mother wears strictly designer clothing and you wear strictly pajamas. You and your parents have clearly distinct and often conflicting styles.  

So what can you do to bridge the gap? What can you do to make sure that your parents don't give up on you and move you to a "home" and only visit you from time-to-time but tell you that they've been by more frequently, causing you to begin to question your own sanity?


When you know you're going to have to spend time with your parents, bring some friends to dilute the situation.  If you're anything like me (which you are), you have a few friends that continue to exist in a way that is appropriate for their age (such as Damilare, above).  Now, I should warn you that while bringing friends along will help to maintain a peaceful relationship between you and your parents, you may find yourself in a situation in which your parents ultimately prefer your friends (such as Damilare, above) over you.  This is natural and you will find that you are surprisingly more and more comfortable with this as time goes on.


Ask how well they've been sleeping.  Everyone sleeps, Grandmas and the non-Gs, so it's definitely something you will have to talk about.  You, of course, will be in a position to help them should their sleep patterns be sub-par as of late.  A nice cup of hot tea or warm milk pre-slumber, perhaps?  Or maybe they should crack open Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck and read a chapter or two before hitting the sheets.  Regardless of the direction the sleep conversation takes, it will be a conversation, I can almost guarantee it.


Let's face it, you're a forward-thinking gma!  So am I, which is why my classic fall-back when I find myself in close proximity to my youthful parents is the topic of bequests.  It's important to tell your parents what items of theirs you want to make sure your older, less deserving sister does not get her greasy fingers on when your parents kick it once and for all.  There's no simple way to bring this up, of course, but it's necessary to make your desires known, particularly when the parents in question are still lucid. Some items to consider asking for: Mom's jewelry, Dad's record collection, the entire collection of the works of Upton Sinclair, and the original of your birth certificate. 

Our compatibility with our parents waxes and wanes regardless of our chosen lifestyle, so it's important not to blame yourself for having such hip, "with-it" parents.  You are not at fault and you certainly are not alone.