We’re wrapping up Grandparents Week with a look at how to be a hip (dare I say “cool?”) grandparent. This seemed appropriate because National Grandparents Day (the first Sunday after Labor Day) was created largely because of one amazingly hip grandmother, Marian McQuade of West Virginia. She wasn’t a sit-on-your-hands grandma. She advocated for recognizing the significant contributions of grandparents all the way to Washington, D.C. In 1978,Congress passed legislation and President Jimmy Carter signed a presidential proclamation designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. You rock, Marian.
Times have changed since then, and so have grandchildren. So how can grandparents stay hip in a changing world? Here are my tips:
- Be able to sing all the words to “Call Me Maybe.” The teen pop song, recorded by Carly Rae Jepson, is indeed a catchy tune. But what has really given it legs are the many lip dub videos that everyone from Katy Perry to the U.S. Olympic swim team to Cookie Monster have created in response to Jepson’s music video. Make your own version and your grandkids will be impressed. To inspire you, here’s our AARP “grand” version - it makes me grin every time I watch it! You’ll love it too.
- Yes, Grandma, it IS about the kind of phone you have. If you don’t have a smartphone, you run the risk of never quite reaching the level of hip-dom your grandchildren will respect. Kids these days know their phones and many are partial to one brand or another. Get with it and get your grandkids to teach you how to use it!
Translation: if you can’t text and use smiley faces appropriately, your grandkids may never communicate with you. How’s that for motivation?!
- It’s all about the abbrevs. Abbrev is, well, an abbreviation for the word abbreviation. Get it? From tweens to young adults, many use abbrevs so frequently you’d think it was another language. Totes amaze (i.e. it’s totally amazing.) Be aware that abbrevs are not the same as text acronyms so use appropriately or you’ll be relegated to the non-hip grandparents category. Also, don’t overuse … more than two per sentence is seer awk.
Here are some of my fave abbrevs:
- Totes = totally
- Jeals or jelly = jealous
- Uzhe = usual
- Ledge = legend
- Plezh = pleasure
- Brill = brilliant
- Seer = seriously
- Besties = best friends
- Abs = absolutely
- Sitch = situation
- Trubs = trouble
- Probs = probably
- Awk = awkward
- Offish = official
- Bellig = belligerent
- Whatevs = whatever
- Gran = grandmother or grandfather
- Learn how to dance The Dougie – OK, just to be clear, we are not advocating the lyrics to the Cali Swag song “Teach Me How to Dougie,” but let’s face it: pretty much every kid these days knows how to dance The Dougie … or a version of it. Everybody’s doing it. Even FLOTUS Michelle Obama has been doing the Dougie, so I bet the First Grandma, Marian Robinson, knows how to Dougie! Basically, make like you’re smoothing your hair back, sway side to side … it’s hard to describe. Get your grandkids to show you how to do it.
But never, ever do it in front of their friends. Keep it in the fam gran.
- Know if you’re on Team Peeta or Team Gale? - So, vampires are passe. It’s all about dystopia and archery now. Read The Hunger Games trilogy and you’ll know what we mean. And if your granddaughter starts naming dolls Katniss, you’ll know why.
What did I miss? Tell me yours in the comments section below!