Most of us grandparents want to share our lives with our grandkids. We want to let them know who we are and where they came from. Our family history and values can give them a sense of grounding in something stable and lasting and bigger than themselves.
At Grandkids Matter, we have received hundreds of comments from adults about their grandparents, and they shared some fantastic stories and insights. I am sharing these this week as an encouragement and a challenge to you. What you do with your grandkids and the ways you invest in them will be remembered—so it’s important to be intentional and purposeful with them.
As evidence, just read through these 15 responses to the question, “What do you remember most about your grandparents?”
Spending the night at my grandparents’ house, eating the favorite special snacks they had, and watching the movies we always watched.
Listening to Grandpa’s stories.
Family gatherings … sleeping with my grandma … and waking up to see her praying.
My grandmother taught me to sew, and when we were sewing, she would teach me Ukrainian songs. Ukrainian was her native language.
Spending the night over at their house with lots of cousins there too.
Eating meals with them. Going for slow drives in the country to visit places where Grandpa grew up. Learning about how he grew up. Then being allowed to eat as much ice cream as I wanted as a kid.
Granddad teaching me the Bible.
My grandmother was a lifeline when my parents and I didn’t see eye-to-eye. She has impacted my life in countless ways.
Stories about their coming to America.
Learning about old times.
Baking bread and dozens of cookies for the holidays. Living for two years with my grandmother when my parents moved, so I could finish high school where I started.
Laughing at Hee Haw and other TV comedies. Watching Walker, Texas Ranger.
Family holiday dinners.
Spending time together. Learning what they shared with me about the past.
Just being with them—and knowing that I was always taken care of. They did not have the best of everything or a lot of anything, but they made sure I was loved unconditionally. I miss them!
How could anyone read comments like these and not believe that grandparents have a powerful and lasting impact on the lives of their grandchildren? Just about everything we do with and for our grandchildren helps to create and strengthen our heritage. Let’s all make the most of our opportunities.
What are your favorite things to do with your grandkids? And what are their favorite things to do with you? Ask them! Then, share the results with other grandparents on our Facebook page.
This was adapted from Dr. Ken Canfield’s book, The HEART of Grandparenting. Find out more and get your copy here.