What About Grandfathers?
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 grandparent—and 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.
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 [at] gmail.com (gpdiscoveries[at]gmail[dot]com).