Did you make grandparenting resolutions for the new year? It makes sense if we want to do our best in that role. 

To give you some ideas, today I’m giving you five action points to consider using the basic outline from my book, The HEART of Grandparenting. If you weren’t aware, “HEART” is an acronym: 

The H stands for Heritage. How can you pass some of your heritage on to your grandkids in the next twelve months? One idea is to simply tell stories. Think of an experience that helped to shape who you are, spend a few minutes recalling the details, and then simply tell the story. I’m sure your grandkids will love it. 

Next is Example. The simple challenge here is to always be positive and optimistic around your grandkids. The older we get, it seems like we have more reasons to complain—and often there are legitimate trials and hardships from health issues, relationship problems or losing a loved one. Still, if we can keep smiling and looking for the good in life, that example will influence our grandkids. It might even inspire them.

Did you know that many adults think of their grandparents as Angels? That’s what I’ve heard over and over, so maybe it’s time to ask yourself, How can I be more angelic? That might be a tall order, but one thing we know is that angels are spiritual warriors. So a good resolution would be to simply pray for your grandkids every day—and occasionally remind them that you are praying for them. 

The R is for reconciliation. Being a reconciler is part of the picture for many grandparents, and often the main challenge is with the middle generation, your grandkids’ parents. So maybe a good goal for you this year would be to be your kids’ biggest fans. As parents, they probably need your support and encouragement, and your efforts will bless your grandkids as well.

Finally, T stands for teaching. There are so many things we can teach our grandkids—from everyday tasks to moral truths to family history, and I’d say do it all. Maybe a good place to start would be to teach a hobby or skill that you have. It’s a great way to invest in your grandchild’s future and create a common bond between the two of you. 

Okay, grandparents, let’s go make it a great year of blessing and encouraging our grandkids.

Please share with other grands: How do you plan to be a more engaged grandparent this year? Join the discussion 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