by Dr. Ken Canfield

What was your childhood like?

Many of us experienced a mix of good and not-so-good. Since no people or families are perfect, there are surely some things you wish had been different, and probably some things you wish you had received from the adults in your life, but didn’t.

Before you get too deep in reflection, this is about your grandkids. Right now they are in that situation. They may have very loving, responsible parents, but they’re still in an imperfect family. And really, growing up has its challenges no matter who you are.

But here’s a truth that should keep us all motivated as grandparents:

All kids need someone who is always excited to see them, who treats them special and pays close attention to them.

And now we’re in a position to be one of those people for our grandkids.

Let me break grandparenting down to the basics, the minimum. I heard this quote about being a grandparent, and maybe it can be encouraging for all of us:

Having an involved grandparent means that kids get one more person in their lives who cares about them, and that’s worth more than anything else.

In a best-case scenario, we’re among many adults in their lives who provide that love and care. And of course, there are an increasing number of situations where grandparents are the first or maybe the only people supporting and affirming their grandkids like that.

But seeking to be that extra person or two who provides love and encouragement for our grandkids seems like the very least we can do—and often it’s the best we can do. They need all they can get, and we can be that person.

Keep up the good work, grandparents.

What are your tips for building this kind of caring relationship with your grandkids? Please join the discussion on our Facebook page.