Anyway, in our round-robin of “who-I-am-and-what-I-do”, I learned that this woman is a retired physician—a pediatric cardiologist, in fact. Now she tutors in Latin and French, and writes these columns… Did I mention that she managed to raise seven children? I want to be her when I grow up. Oh wait—I forgot to become a doctor. Or to have more children. Well, I shall just have to bask in her glow, and settle for who I am.
Back to my point, and I DO have a point.
Dr. Wonderful (her newly-minted alias) mentioned that she can always tell which children are being raised by their grandmothers. Without hesitation, I said, “Because they have good manners?” She turned to me, smiling, bemused, and said, “Precisely. Because they have good manners.”
So score some points for the grandmothers, and their willingness to model and teach good manners. Of course, most moms and dads do this, too, but I’m claiming a bit of credit for the grandmothers to offset the bum rap we (as a class) got in the news this week.
In case you missed it, an article by Jeannine Stein of the Los Angeles Times a few days ago was headlined
“Do grandparents make kids fat?”
Stein cites a study in the International Journal of Obesity (I swear, I am not making this up) that found that kids cared for by grandparents full-time had a 34% increase in “risk of being overweight.” The part-timers showed a 15% increase. (So were they actually overweight, because I don’t really get what the ‘risk of’ means, otherwise.)
So maybe grandparents are handing out too many cookies and snacks, or maybe they are reading more with the kids, and doing puzzles and homework and other sedentary activities with them. Speaking for myself, I love to take the little ones to the park, but I’m not out there playing tag, throwing the ball, and generally chasing them around the yard like their moms and dads do. Which side of the equation is causing this, assuming it’s true?
I’m a believer in healthy eating, but all things in moderation. So, Jeannine Stein of the L.A. Times, if the kids raised by their grandmothers turn out to be at high risk for obesity (whatever that means) at least they will say, “Will you please pass the cupcakes?” rather than, “Yo, send them cupcakes over here!”