by Ken Canfield, Ph.D.

I have read the famous quote from Mother Teresa many times in my life, but when I came across it recently and thought about it as a grandparent, it took on even more meaning.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
– Mother Teresa

Isn’t that a fitting truth for grandparents?

To be sure, there are some grandparents who do play a major role in raising their grandkids—either raising them full-time or helping to care for them on an everyday basis. In my mind, they are giving selflessly and heroically, and truly doing something great.

For the rest of us, it’s a matter of smaller, simpler investments:

  • a word of encouragement
  • an outing to go shopping or get ice cream
  • showing up at games and concerts
  • keeping them at our house for a few hours, overnight, or longer
  • little gifts that say, “I was thinking about you.”
  • teaching a skill or sharing a hobby
  • footing the bill for some opportunity or resource that they otherwise wouldn’t have
  • sending encouraging texts, cards or letters
  • … the list goes on and on.

“Small things … great love” captures it for many grandparents. Our interactions with our grandkids might not happen every day, but when they do, we’re giving them our best, trying to soak up every moment and communicate our love and support in the best way possible. We’re their biggest cheerleaders—or at least in their top two or three.

Keep making the small investments in your grandkids. Over the years, those “small things with great love” will become great things as our grandchildren look at the influence we’ve had on their lives.

What small things can you do to show great love to your grandkids? Leave an idea on our Facebook page.