Author: Ken Canfield, PhD

Work and Family: The Ongoing Tug-of-War

As a grandparent, taking a primary role in raising grandchildren was probably never on your agenda. Maybe you were enjoying the thought of retiring and taking it easy in your golden years. But because you are deeply committed to your grandchildren, you find yourself as a primary caregiver at a later point in life. And at the same time, you also find that this family responsibility you are stepping up to puts you in tension with your work life. You are not alone! You want to do your best at home and at work. Taking care of your grandchildren...

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Grandfathers Connecting with Granddaughters

Elyce Wakerman’s father died when she was three. Her loss propelled her to study the plight of young women who had grown up without a dad in their lives. In her book Father Loss, Wakerman surveyed over 700 women who had lost their fathers by either death or divorce during childhood. Wakerman was eager to find out exactly what a father contributes to his daughter’s well-being. Just what does that have to do with grandfathers? Quite a bit, as it turns out. For many girls, if dad is not in the picture then grandfather becomes a stand-in father, whether...

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Grandfathers Make a Difference for Grandsons

According to recent research, boys in our country are “fragile.” When compared to girls, boys generally show much higher tendencies to struggle with issues such as learning disorders, failure to finish high school, obesity, violence, stuttering, gambling and video game fixations, hyperactivity, and poor school performance—especially reading and writing skills. One recent survey found that among high school seniors, 67% of girls planned to attend a 4-year college after graduation, compared to 55% among boys. On college campuses, about 60% of all undergraduate students are women. What causes this? Surely it’s a combination of complex factors. Some believe that,...

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Granddaughters Need Their Grandfathers, Too

There’s a growing awareness of a grandfather’s importance in the life of his daughter. Both the academic world and the general population are recognizing that a grandfather’s influence goes beyond the “little girl” years into adulthood, and is an important complement to the vital role played by other family members. A recent study from the University of Texas connected father involvement with less sexual activity among teenage girls. And by the way, grandfather, YOU have the opportunity to contribute to your granddaughter’s healthy identity in very significant ways too. We’re doing everything we can to let grandfathers know how...

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Your Granddaughter Needs Your Affection

Little girls are cute. Boys are cute too, but it seems natural to cuddle little girls more than boys and, in fact, some grandfathers do tend to pick up and hold granddaughters more than grandsons. But before you know it, that little girl has become a young woman, and nurturing her isn’t easy, but more like scary. Now you’re a little edgy around her, and careful not to do anything that could be misinterpreted in any way. But your granddaughter is still yearning for your affection and approval. More and more research is confirming that a woman’s sense of...

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