Author: Ken Canfield, PhD

Should You Move Closer to Your Grandkids?

I talk with many grandparents whose eyes are opened to the incredible potential of their role in the lives of their grandchildren. Sometimes these grandparents will contact me or talk with me weeks or months later and say with great excitement, “We’ve decided to move closer to the grandkids!” For many, that’s a positive step. However, as I’m sure you’re aware, grandparenting involves a complicated set of relationships, and they aren’t always easy to navigate. When compared to being a parent, grandparenting usually means more distance from your grandkids. Unless you’re raising them or living with them, you probably...

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Overcoming 5 Common Grandparent Barriers

There are so many rewards and joys that come with grandparenting, and I’m always surprised to meet grandparents who have little to do with their grandchildren. Then, when I hear their stories, it makes a bit more sense and I can sympathize. Often there are issues with the middle generation, the grandkids’ parents, since they are the gatekeepers for that relationship. Conflicts and unresolved hurts with the adult children make it much more difficult to be the loving grandparent we want to be. But we grandparents can play a leading role in modeling positive, peace-keeping habits like proactive kindness,...

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Grandparent Dreams: Powerful Video

Have you seen the recent commercial featuring a grandfather and his “dream car”? Watch it here: Now, sharing this video is not an endorsement of this company other than to say I appreciate the powerful message for grandparents. But it raises some interesting ideas. Did you have dreams about what you wanted to do during your later years? Some people look forward to retiring or cutting back on working hours so they can travel more. Some think about moving to a warmer climate so they can relax and do things they enjoy. Some, like this grandfather, start planning for...

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Reading with Your Grandkids: 3 Benefits and 6 Tips

We grandparents are uniquely equipped to help our grandchildren with reading. It’s such an important skill, and it’s one that many kids today aren’t all that interested in when they could be playing a video game or whatever. But we know the rewards and the excitement of reading good book, whether it’s for learning or entertainment or something else. This struck me not long ago when my wife Dee returned from volunteering at our grandchildren’s school: she did various tasks to help the teachers, but a lot of what she did was work one-on-one with kids, helping them with...

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6 Ways Grandparents Help to Build Family Strength

Some years ago, a team of researchers came up with 6 qualities of strong families. And while parents have much more influence in these areas, I believe we grandparents have an important role in modeling and reinforcing these values. If we fell short as parents, this is like a second chance to do better and set a positive tone for our extended family. Briefly, here are the 6 qualities of family strength: Commitment. A grandparent’s commitment shows up in his or her priorities, maybe most of all. This means believing that God has a good reason for giving you...

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