Author: Ken Canfield, PhD

3 Ways to Share Your Educational Heritage with Grandkids

If you have grandchildren who are just back in school or about to go back, I hope you realize that’s a monumental event. They will mature and be shaped in incredible ways during the next nine or ten months. And of course many companies and organizations are very aware of this, as they will be marketing their clothing, sporting goods, and educational resources and strategies to parents and families everywhere.  As grandparents, many of us won’t be intimately involved in our grandkids’ education every day like their parents, but we can be a team player with their parents, distinguishing...

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3 Things I’m Learning About Grandparenting Through Grief and Loss

We recently announced a big loss in my life—the passing of my wife of 43 years, Dee.  I don’t want to be morbid or depressing to anyone, but the past few months have opened my eyes to the reality of death and grieving. As grandparents, we know we’re likely closer to those experiences—if we haven’t already—and they will impact us and our loved ones.  So, how can we navigate this journey in a way that’s healthy and helpful to the entire family? If we are grandparents, then we can’t curl up into a ball or go off on our...

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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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