This engaging textbook synthesizes the current knowledge about how grandparents operate in the family and in society. Using a number of case studies, the book covers topics such as: the grandparent-grandchild bond; grandparent development; grandparent-parent relationships; normative and non-normative grandparenting activities; the variety of grandparenting activities according to race, gender and age; the relationship of grandparents to the community; clinical grandparenting; and the legal rights of grandparents.

Introduction

Introduction

It always astonished me that I could make my grandmother go into raptures of joy just by being hungry.

—Jean-Paul Sartre, The Words (1977, p. 14)

The roots of this book go back to a time when I was a child psychiatrist in private practice. As part of the diagnostic process, and to get a comprehensive idea of a young patient's interpersonal world, I routinely interviewed family members, including brothers, sisters, and parents. I didn't include grandparents in the assessment simply because I had never been taught to do so. When children mentioned their grandparents I gave the matter token acknowledgment but went no further. I certainly never invited them into the consulting room.

All that changed on the day a youngster named Billy taught me about ...

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