Fulfillment at Any Age

How to remain productive and healthy into your later years

Five types of grandparents and how they shape our lives

There are many ways that grandparents shape our lives. Understanding the five types of grandparents can help you understand the role of your grandparenting in your life. Read More

I'm crying in a good way! Thank You, for caring.

Dear Mrs. Whitbourne,

I posted a comment on your "Why We Love Betty White" page last week. I didn't think I'd ever come back to this site, because I was afraid that I'd see all sorts of posts from people making fun of me.

I decided to read the article again and take my chances. When I saw and read the NEW article, I just started crying like I haven't cried in a long time. I didn't even know why I was crying at first but it was a good type of crying.

Thank you that you read what I and other people had to say, and for not embarassing us. Thank you that you didn't start telling us why we felt what we did and how we had to change it. The way you handled the part about the comments was really neat, because it felt like someone really cared. I really like the whole article, and I'm glad you reminded people that President Obama was raised by his grandmother. I really liked the end of the article, and I can't believe that someone hasn't studied these things since 1965! (I wasn't remotely born then.) I hope you do write about this topic in your book; I plan on reading your blogs and your books. You're not one of the scary counselors; you're cool!

I felt better all this past week since writing out those thoughts on the other page. My faith in the good in people was restored a little bit when I saw that nobody made fun of me or anyone else. I wanted to tell my friends about the blog, but I'm kind of afraid for them to read what I wrote about my step-father. I hope that other people find out about your blog because I know it made me feel so much better, and I think it would help others who are going through similar things.

I hated when I went to counseling before, and I'm not ready to try to see another counselor right now.

When the time comes and I AM ready to try counseling again, I hope I find someone who is caring, really listens and doesn't just hear, and will make counseling seem like a safe place. I hope I find a counselor in my town like you!

Excellent and Eye-Opening

One of the Facebook members for the Betty White-SNL site just posted this link.

I also read the comments posted under "Why We Love Betty White." I'm trying to be sensitive to those individuals, but the comments were tremendously revealing and powerful about what the grandchildren in this country are experiencing. My heart goes out to all of those precious people.

I am a grandmother and have the joy of being actively involved in my grandchildren's lives under positive circumstances. I also provide childcare for my daughter and son-in-law. I will value that time even more after reading your article and the comments.

Several of my friends are involved in their grandchildren's lives under less than ideal circumstances. Your article helped me to understand their situations better, and to understand how powerful the influence of grandparents is on the lives of our grandchildren. The "skip-generation" desperately needs to be studied more, thank you for bringing attention to this phenomenon.

WOW! You have my respect.

Dear Professor Whitbourne:

You're one of the first adults I think I might actually respect.

I wrote a post under the first blarticle (blog article). You had responded, but, your post kind of hit me the wrong way. I wrote a nasty reply. In retrospect, I don't think you said anything wrong, I think I just overreacted and had felt like part of my opinion was rejected. I don't know; I just know I was wrong.

What amazes me is that you deleted your response and my inappropriate reaction, but you did not delete my initial post. I was really humbled by that. So, I kept watching your blog responses. Bit by bit more posts were made, but you really listened. All of the sudden people were calling it a safe place.

Then I read the second Betty White blarticle. You listened and you cared. I'm not used to that; you're really different than most adults. I really liked the second article, and your story about your grandmother and what she meant to you.

I read the Tiger Woods article, too. I think I might be on a downward spiral and I'm just getting started in life. I've had so many authority figures hurt me that I just automatically rebel from the beginning. I think I believe that I'm already going to get burned, so I might as well not hope for anything better and I kind of expedite the process of being rejected by adults.

I liked the Tiger Woods article; it makes sense. I can kind of see how I could change my thinking patterns and maybe hope for something better.

You made a difference Professor Whitbourne. I'm going to keep reading your blog. I'm going to read your book. I'm going to change. I don't want to be on the downward spiral anymore, especially when I'm just really starting out. Life doesn't have to be the way it's been. And just because my family has always been trash and rough, doesn't mean I have to continue that cycle.

Thank you for making a difference.

Thank you

My grandparents helped raise me and my brother as my father was a single dad trying to keep things together. I just lost my grandfather last week, and I'm very much still in the middle of grieving. Thank you for addressing the fact that grandparents can be a big part of their grandchildren's lives and dealing with their death is no joking matter.

Photo of the young Barack Obama

I'm wondering if the woman in the photo with the young Barack Obama is his paternal grandmother or another relative on his father's side, because his maternal grandmother, who played such a big role in his upbringing, was white.

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Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her latest book is The Search for Fulfillment.

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