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January 29, 2006 - 7:27 am

Does anyone want to stay with the kids anymore? a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10965522/site/newsweek/page/4/”In this Newsweek article/a, there is mention that 40% of boys are being raised without their father. Now, a href=”http://lifestyle.msn.com/FamilyandParenting/Generations/ArticleMore.aspx?cp-documentid=165003GT1=7608″this MSN article /a says that not only do grandmothers not want to be called Grandma but they are making their grandkids pencil in appointments to see them! The father issue is very important and one that needs to be addressed. But, in addition to fathers being absent, it seems that no one in the extended family wants to hang out with kids anymore–including grandmothers:br /br /blockquoteLook, I’d love to nip over and whisper secrets into 1-month-old Maggie’s ears, or to dress 2-year-old Ryan in the black leather jacket I bought her recently and take her to look for late blackberries in Golden Gate Park on my bike (with its deluxe new kid seat). But I have a job. I’m a reporter, I have two books to write, a husband who wants to go to France, and I just bought an investment property in Portland, Oregon. I love my grandchildren, but being a grandmother got added to my to-do list./blockquote br /br /Wow, this woman puts her grandkids in the same category as buying an investment property in Oregon. It’s no wonder that kids don’t know how to deal with simple human relationships. Here is another grandmother from the same MSN article discussing her feelings about her grandkids, “I love those little kids and I do want to have a relationship with them,” she said. “But I’m not willing to give up my writing or my traveling. I’ll be the best grandmother I can from a distance.”br /br /Yep, better not get to close to the grandkids–they might actually want to see you. As extended families become less influential in children’s lives, I can’t help but think this must affect their ability to learn about the closeness of human interactions. Perhaps the only lesson they take away is that they are just one more chore added to a too-do list and even there, they come up short. Add to this the guilt parents feel about not spending enough time with kids themselves and the never ending material goods being lavished on the little darlings and it’s no wonder kids can be confused and unclear about the importance of human interactions. Extended family also gives kids examples of how other people behave outside of the daycare, school or their immediate family. Grandparents don’t have to go overboard but perhaps not adding the grandkids to the to-do list but rather to the I-would-love-to see-them list would be a start.br /br /Update: Just for the record, for my extended family, particularly the grandparents–please disregard the above–all of you are terrific grandparents who are generous with your time and love for your grandkids, despite your busy schedules.

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