by Dr. Ken Canfield

There’s a clever saying: “Grandparents … so easy to operate, even a child can do it.”

Is that true for you? For me, this highlights two aspects of grandparenting that we should celebrate and make the most of:

First, there’s a magical connection between grandparents and grandchildren. They are thrilled to see you, and vice versa. The mere thought of your grandchildren brings a smile to your face, an extra bounce in your step, and a tug on your heartstrings. It’s a relationship to be savored as often and as long as we can.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m surprised at how accommodating I am with my grandkids. I don’t totally lose common sense, but I’m often surprised at what I let them talk me into.

And second, there are very real benefits to that relationship. Yes, there’s a lot more going on than just spoiling the grandkids and having fun together. That special connection will often open doors to moments of teaching and encouragement. Something you say or do might bolster their confidence, provide a gentle correction, or give them a different perspective on life. And it’s nothing their parents couldn’t say or do, but somehow, coming from you, the child is more open to listening and remembering.

All kids need someone who is always excited to see them, who treats them special and pays close attention to them. In a best-case scenario, we’re among many people in their lives who do that, but for grandparents, I say it’s the least we can do (and often it’s the best we can do).

What’s your experience? How do you see your special connection to your grandkids benefitting them? Please leave a comment and join the discussion on our Facebook page here.