“You may not have heard the rumor going around, but the word on the street is that 60 is the new 40,” observe the authors of this latest in their series of books on family relations. And that observation alone is bound to affect the way that generations now relate to one another. No longer is Grandma at home baking cookies, always available to babysit on short notice. She and Grandpa are just as apt to be taking a class at the local college or out on the golf course playing 18 holes without a cart. But that doesn’t mean that the role of grandparents has been diminished; it may simply need to be accomplished in new and unique ways. And Dr. Tim and Darcy Kimmel believe that grandparenting is not only a delightful experience but a sacred calling as well.
The authors begin with the premise that God gave grandparents four basic roles to play in the lives of their grandchildren, roles that are biblical and increasingly vital: “Giving a Blessing,” “Leaving a Legacy,” “Bearing a Torch” and “Setting a Standard.” Each of these roles is defined and explored with the love and expertise of those who have first-hand knowledge and experience. There are numerous anecdotes and scriptures to illustrate and confirm the importance of each role. No doubt readers will be reminded of their own parenting and grandparenting stories and begin to feel motivated to participate in new ways with their families. The discussion questions at the end of each chapter would provide an excellent resource for Bible study.
Although my own experiences with my grandparents were limited, once I had grandchildren of my own, I secretly felt I was given a “do over.” It’s that wonderful second chance that God continually blesses us with in so many ways --- getting to “do over” story time, without having to rush through the book you’ve read a gazillion times; being able to teach Cooking 101 without worrying about the mess; having time to spend in the yard searching for lizards and researching them online; and teaching them about the wonders of a God who I had just come to know.
In EXTREME GRANDPARENTING, the Kimmels emphasize the spiritual aspects of grandparenting, the importance of defining values and imparting wisdom that they have gained in many ways over the years. Not only is each chapter full of this Godly wisdom but it is presented in a caring, non-judgmental way designed to motivate rather than condemn those of us who need to re-evaluate the importance of our role in the lives of our children and grandchildren.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on July 26, 2007