I believe God smiles on grandparents, particularly this Sunday as we celebrate Grandparents’ Day. Why do I believe this? There are many reasons, including one of the Psalms which describes the blessing of simply living to “see your children’s children.”
That isn’t the case for far too many grandparents—who either don’t live long enough to see their grandchildren or, in difficult situations, are unable to see them. Still, I think God is smiling on them as well, even though their hopes and desires haven’t been fulfilled.
The power of a smile was deeply pressed into my own heart and mind by my beautiful wife more than 43 years ago. Part of what attracted me to Dee was her beaming smile, and she was a shining bright light to all those who knew her. Since her passing, many people have commented to me that they remember her smile.
As grandparents, our smiles can endow our grandchildren and children with a tremendous foundation for their lives and family, and research backs this up. Yes, researchers have studied the impact of a smile; here are a few of the many positive outcomes from those who regularly smile at others.
For one thing, smiling improves your mood. Just think of something that you’re thankful for—like being a grandparent. If you’re like me, just thinking of your grandkids brings a smile to your face, and smiling is unavoidable when you see them. That mood-booster not only impacts you, but it has a profound impact on them as well. And it’s contagious; they surely smile back at you, which multiplies the benefits!
More generally, simply smiling more can lead to deeper interpersonal relationships, more stable marriages, and grandchildren who just love to be in your presence. Some believe smiling too much will cause them to get more wrinkles on their face, but it actually makes you look younger and, as I said related to my beloved wife, more attractive.
Smiling has many other benefits. The research notes that smiles increase endorphins and boost serotonin, which are often called natural pain killers. Smiles can also lower your heart rate and, in the long term, will likely even increase your life span.
Children need joyful grandparents who smile and laugh. So why aren’t we smiling more?
My encouragement this week is to smile more in your daily life and whenever you’re with your grands. Even if it’s over the phone and they can’t see you smile, they’ll be able to tell in your voice. Maybe you can snap a quick selfie of your smile and send it to them, or call them up on a video chat. Maybe it will take some focused effort or leaving yourself reminders around the house or in your car, but it’s worth it. Your smiles will pay big dividends with your grands and bring joy to them.
Need more encouragement? Watch and listen to Nat King Cole sing the classing song …
Get specific and encourage other grandparents. How do you bring joyful smiles and laughter to your grandkids? Please share on our Facebook page.