by Ken Canfield, Ph.D.

I hear regularly from quite a few well-meaning grandparents who say, “Well, we’d like to get more time with our grandkids, but it just isn’t happening.”

I know there could be all kinds of reasons for that, especially during a worldwide pandemic. But here at the start of a new year, I believe we can and should find ways to be more involved in our grandkids’ lives. If we don’t become more intentional, more proactive, more engaged grandparents, we’ll be missing out—and so will our grandchildren.

First, we’ll miss a lot of the joy and satisfaction of leaving a legacy that impacts future generations. At this stage of our lives, we want to invest in things with lasting value and have an influence that carries on even long after we are gone. Grandparenting is one of the best ways to do that.

Also, we’ll deprive our grandchildren of the very best benefits we bring through a close relationship. We can play a key role by passing on our heritage, values and faith. We’re an extra source of support and guidance for our grandkids, providing wisdom and life lessons from a more experienced perspective. And of course, we show them unconditional love like no one else.

And third, it’s a great way to make a difference in the world. If any of us look at what is happening around us and wonder where civilization is going—or if there’s any civilization at all—then one great, proactive step is to pour ourselves into our grandkids. They can carry on a heritage of faith and family strength to a world that will surely need it. Through them, we truly can influence a future that we will never see.

What’s the best or most meaningful way you invest in your grandchildren? The rest of us grandparents need your wisdom! Please share your thoughts on our Facebook page.