The Perfect Grandmother

Is Betty White America’s idea of the perfect grandmother? According to an article I read this week on Psychology Today, she just may be.   Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Phd is the author of the article I mentioned entitled Grandparents in our lives: Fulfilling us, Fulfilling them.  Dr. Whitbourne makes mention of the fact that recently a page was started on Facebook requesting that Betty White be asked to host Saturday Night Live.  At the time I am writing this post over 413,000 people have joined in on the request!

Betty White

Betty White

” To these readers, she  (Betty White) represents the grandparent they either never had or the grandparent who provided stability in a family sorely needing stability,” says Dr. Whitbourne.

Dr. Whitbourne goes on to talk about her own grandmother.  “Personally, I was close to my maternal grandmother, who lived with my family during my teen years. Apart from a few disagreements about dating, she was an important figure in my life. An expert seamstress who made a living as a master glovemaker (her gloves were sold to Queen Elizabeth), she shared with me her incredible talents and it was thanks to her that knitting is my favorite hobby. She also was an inspiration to me. At the end of her life, when she could no longer see, she switched her craft to making woven potholders, just to keep her hands busy. She was super-proud of me perhaps just as much for my education (she lived until my second year of grad school) as for my hand-knit creations.”

You don’t have to look far to find examples of grandparents who had a positive influence on their grandchildren. Dr. Whitbourne uses President Obama as an example of someone who was greatly influenced by their grandmother.  He was raised by Madelyn Dunham, his maternal grandmother. “She’s the one who taught me about hard work,” he said. “She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me.”

Influential grandmothers are nothing new to this generation. In the Bible in 2 Timothy 1;5, Paul acknowledges that Timothy’s faith was instilled in him by his mother and grandmother.

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that {it is} in you as well.

I don’t remember my paternal grandmother, she died when I was just a few months old. My maternal grandmother, Grandma Layne, was my definition of “the perfect grandmother.”   A Godly woman who loved her family and always had time for her grandchildren, she was the most patient, kind woman I have ever known.

How will my grandchildren remember me?  I am not a cooking baking, constantly in the kitchen type grandmother. I am about as crafty as my dog Murphy (I can’t even make sock puppets very well. Sorry Char!) I can’t knit or sew (not even a missing button).

The truth is there are no “perfect” grandmothers (no, not even Grandma Layne-but she was close!) because we are all human beings with flaws and inconsistencies. What makes a grandmother close to perfect is the love she has for her grandchild, and when it comes to that, I should do okay because I am absolutely, positively crazy about my granddaughter.

My granddaughter Abby loving on a puppy

My granddaughter Abby loving on a puppy

Article from Psychology Today:


  1. it’s coYes, it’s coming true! Betty White will appear on Saturday Night Live this season. This is the best news I heard today.

  2. teresak 11 Mar, 2010

    Way cool!