Inside the Grandparents Scam: A Con Artist Reveals All

Donald and Ola Mae got scammed doing what any grandparent would do. Peter got them because he knew that love, indeed, conquers all. The secret to Peter’s success, like that of any scammer, was to get Donald and Ola Mae to think with their hearts instead of their heads - to get them “under the ether,” as it is called. Think with your emotions and you don’t think rationally, and that’s what turns targets into victims. That’s why the Grandparents Scam …

Grandmas Stay Sharp by Babysitting – But Don’t Overdo It

Babysitting the grandkids can help boost Grandma’s brainpower, but doing it too much may have the opposite effect – possibly because Grandma is feeling resentful, new research finds. The study of 120 Australian grandmothers, ages 57 to 68, wanted to determine whether minding grandchildren played a role in helping postmenopausal women stay sharp as they aged. Previous research had shown that staying involved in social activities with friends or relatives helps improve cognitive function in older adults. >> Sign up …

Grandma Betty: Why ‘Cute’ Can’t Capture It

Let me first say I love what’s going on with Grandma Betty, the Indiana octogenarian turned Instagram star. When Betty was diagnosed with terminal cancer, her great-grandson Zach opened an account (@grandmabetty33) to chronicle her journey. More than 309,000 followers later, what started as a project for friends and family has turned into a worldwide sensation. I just love that the bond between a great-grandmother and her teenage great-grandson, more than 60 years her junior, has inspired an outpouring of …

Why Oscar Nominee ‘Nebraska’ Has Already Won

I saw Nebraska over the holidays with my boyfriend and his mom and my mom. It was a rather odd double date, come to think of it, but this isn’t about that. The movie just got me to thinking. There’s an important message in Nebraska, particularly in the relationship between David (Will Forte) and his father Woody (Oscar contender Bruce Dern). When Woody says he won a million dollars and has to travel 800+ miles to collect the prize, his …

A Family Commune, One Year Later: Laughing, Barking, Crying, Shrieking…

The shriek of a 3-year-old can crack glass, shift a house on its foundation and register on earthquake scales 100 miles away. If you doubt that, come on over while Gracie, my granddaughter, pierces the air with a sound that is somewhere between a siren and a scream that will leave you vibrating for days. She is the primary addition to the merging of two families into one household, the smallest human member in a home that grew overnight a …

A Grandpa’s Dream, a Child’s Nightmare

There’s a tendency among us grandpas to control, or at least direct, the lives of our grandchildren, theoretically filtering into their futures what we wish we had accomplished on our own. I see it in relation to my granddaughter Nicole, a gifted painter who, at 27, is working hard to win notice in the art world. She is accomplishing that slowly but too slowly to suit me, so I’m pushing her to ramp up the tempo, to haunt the galleries, …