What About Grandfathers?

Cheryl Beaudoin
September 30, 2021
a grandfather sits next to his 1 year old granddaughter as she sits astride a large dinosaur statue

Discovery Museum CEO Neil Gordon became a grandfather just over a year ago. Neil’s grandfather name is Gogo! I always love hearing how grandparent names come about—for Neil it was because of one of the first books he read to his granddaughter was “Go, Grandpa, Go!”  Love it!!! ("Go, Grandpa, Go!" is by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Sophie Beer.)

I had the opportunity to talk to Neil about his experience and thoughts about being a grandparentand a grandfather in particular. 

Cheryl: Neil, how did you feel when you first become a grandfather? 

Neil: It was such a miracle! The incredible memories of first becoming a father came flooding back. It also made me think about how my children are embarking on the incredible journey of parenting, and what their experiences will be. There is a real joy to watching their lives change, from the perspective of understanding much of what they will experience from having gone through it ourselves—with them!

Cheryl: Do you feel that grandfathers get left in the dust? There is always lots of talk about grandmothers. 

Neil: Much like moms get—and deserve—lots of kudos, grandmothers get—and well deserve!—the same. The good news is that I am already my granddaughter’s favorite, so personally I feel that I’ve already won!

Cheryl: Talk about why it is important for the Discovery Museum to support and engage grandparents. 

Neil: There are so many reasons…

  • We see grandparents here every day—they are a significant and important part of our community. They can provide a real richness to their grandchildren’s experiences here. We want to better understand how to support them in that.
  • While we always strive to meet the needs of children and their caregivers, we expect that grandparents in particular might benefit from some different kinds of support. We’d like to understand what that might be.
  • We know that many grandparents are often very involved in their grandchildren’s lives, sometimes providing childcare to help the family, and are often called upon to play a role providing experiences and support to their grandchildren.
  • There is more research into early child development that was not available for this generation of grandparents when they were raising their own children. Trends and approaches have shifted over the years as more has been learned about early brain development, for example, and we are able to pass that insight and ideas along to parents and grandparents.

Cheryl: Anything else?

Neil:  We recognize the wisdom and experience that grandparents bring to the table, and we celebrate that! We are grateful for what grandparents bring to the Discovery Museum community.

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We’d love to hear from the grandfathers out there! Do you have perspectives to share on being a grandfather? Do you expect your experience varies greatly from that of grandmothers? How can the Discovery Museum support your experiences here with your grandchildren—Neil wants to know! And most importantly: what is your grandparent name and how did it come about? Send me your questions, thoughts, and ideas through the comment box below or by email to gpdiscoveries@gmail.com

Cheryl and two of her granddaughters
Cheryl Beaudoin

Hi, I’m Cheryl: grandmother, retired Kindergarten teacher, longtime friend (and current Board member) of the Discovery Museum—and now, blogger!  As a grandparent, I try to apply what I learned as a teacher about children and their development to strengthen my relationships with my grandchildren and bring them joy. My hope for this blog is to engage with other grandparents in the Museum community to collect and share stories and ideas about the joys—and challenges—of grandparenting, and how we can connect and deepen our relationships with our grandchildren. Please join me in this wonderful journey we are on—I look forward to hearing from you! Use the comment box at the bottom of any blog post or email me at gpdiscoveries@gmail.com.

Comments

What can we discover together about the wonderful journey that is grandparenting? I will bring to our conversation what I learned as a Kindergarten teacher—and what I am learning as a grandmother of four!—and will "ask the experts" for perspective on subjects we have questions about. Let's engage to share stories, insights, and ideas about the joys—and challenges—of grandparenting, and how we can connect and deepen our relationships with our grandchildren and bring them joy.

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Subscribe to the blog at the link below to be sure to receive updates. And please comment, share your stories and ideas—including how Discovery Museum can best support you and your grandchildren,—and ask questions through the comment box at the end of each post or via email to gpdiscoveries@gmail.com.  I look forward to connecting and learning about our grands together!  —Cheryl