Isn’t it grand being a grandparent? You probably don’t want to be called Grandma or Grandpa because that would make you seem older than you believe you are. You’ve probably come up with some clever name for yourself, which is great. But do you want to know how to be the cleverest grandparent of all? The key is to keep the grandkids happy as well as the parents. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

* Start a tradition with your grandchildren. Think about what your common interests are and what activities that are related to them. Be sure to keep them simple and flexible to so they can adapt as they grow older. Whether it's planting a spring garden or a Saturday fishing expedition, it will be something you share on a seasonal, annual or monthly basis. It's never too late to start, but the sooner you begin, the more memories you will create.
* Teach them something their parents may not have time for. Do you like to cook, to repair cars, fish or knit? In addition to the fun times you can have with them now, you are teaching them a skill they can use all their lifetime. The best part? They will know it was you who taught them.
* Take them on vacation without their parents. Did you know that Elderhostel ( has trips organized just for you and your grandchildren? They make it very simple for you. You don’t have to plan the trip yourself or drive; it’s all arranged for you. And it’s educational! If you like to plan your own trip, be sure you do some good pre-planning.
* Set up a 529 savings plan. Your grandchildren and their parents will really appreciate this one. Imagine what college is going to cost by they time they are ready. A ‘529 plan’ allows your money to compound tax-free and your earnings can be withdrawn tax-free as long as it’s used for educational purposes. The other great part is that the funds remain under your control, not your grandchild’s. So, if they decide to not go to college or learn a trade, you can change the beneficiary if you wish. If you decide to let them have the money for something besides education, the earnings are subject to regular income taxes as well as a 10% penalty.
* Be the Grandparent only. You are not the parent! That’s the good news. The parents of your grandchildren are the ones to set the rules, set the schedules and raise them the way they see best. Spoiling them and giving your opinions without being asked is not your role. Know your boundaries.

Enjoy your grandchildren to the fullest. This is what you have been waiting for!

Author's Bio: 

Kim Kirmmse Toth lcsw, acc is a Transitions Strengths Based Coach and Trainer specializing in CEO's, Executives and Entrepreneurs: Life after Work. If you are ready to begin creating the next big transition in your life, to ensure it's as successful as your career get your Free Top Ten Secrets to a Successful Retirement now at or visit