Author: Ken Canfield, PhD

Tributes to Incredible Grandparents

Part of researching for my recent book, The HEART of Grandparenting, involved sifting through what amounts to a treasure chest—hundreds of written comments from adults about their grandparents. There are priceless comments about what these grandchildren remember, what they learned, and what most influenced them.  So, for this week’s blog, I’d like to simply share some of these with the hope that you’ll be inspired and challenged to be the best Nana or Papa for your grandkids. Check these out: I learned more from my grandmother than I could ever possibly put into words. My grandfather died when I...

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4 Steps to Better Relationships with Kids & Grandkids

Recently a grandmother told me about a bold and courageous step that she and her husband took with their children and grandchildren. I’ll call them Bill and Julia. After a little bit of planning and preparation, they called together everyone in their family—sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren. First, Bill and Julia made a verbal commitment to be better grandparents. They admitted that there were ways they could have been more involved and supportive, and they pledged to make those improvements. They even asked for ideas others had that might help them.  Bill and Julia didn’t stop there. They had also...

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Spoiling Grandkids: 2 Questions to Ask

It’s a grandparent’s joy and privilege to spoil the grandkids … right? Many of us love to say, “What happens at Grandma’s stays at Grandma’s.” And some of that is what makes the relationship special and unique. But how do we know if we’re going too far?  Here are a few good questions to ask: Does it bother the parents? In most cases, they are ultimately responsible for the kids’ health and well-being, and we need to always honor and cooperate with their wishes.  Looking at the bigger picture, the parents are the “gatekeepers” in many ways to our...

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2 Tips for Sharing Your Heritage with Your Grandkids

Sharing our heritage is a great part of being a grandparent. What is your heritage? That’s a big question and it can be different for different people, but mainly I’m referring to memories, stories, and sometimes mementos that link us to the past and help to shape a family’s identity. Often, values and beliefs are a big part of that heritage. And a key idea from my book, The HEART of Grandparenting is that we should be purposeful about sharing our heritage with our grandchildren. How and when can we do this? It could happen around holidays, as part...

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Give Your Perspective on Independence

Do you think the next generations need to appreciate the privilege they have of living in a free country? I certainly do, and I admire how intentional my friend Ron is about this. Even before he became a grandparent, he involved his entire family in fundraisers for hospitalized Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).  He would take his children to spend time with veterans. In addition to appreciating those men and women, Ron wanted his children to hear their stories, ask them questions, and get their perspective on the true value of freedom that Americans enjoy, and why sometimes it’s...

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