Baby boomers are joining the ranks of grandparents, and as usual, they want to be the best—which includes outranking other grandparents in their mutual grandchildren's affections. The competition is so fierce that it's an economic stimulus unto itself: 42% of gift spending is by grandparents, the Boston Globe reports. "I have found myself in a somewhat competition with my son-in-law's mother over the oldest grandchild," one conflicted nana confessed online.
"You always want to outdo," says a granddad. "There's always competition." A "low-key desperation to be most popular grandparent" is not uncommon, says a therapist, chalking it up to a desire to have another stab at parenting. "There's this second chance—now I can really raise a kid who will love me." (Read more grandparents stories.)