by Dr. Ken Canfield

In this busy world where everyone has all kinds of activities going on—including children—the simple things are often overlooked, undervalued or crowded out.

I believe many grandparents are uniquely equipped to bring some of the “simple life” back for our grandchildren, and the most obvious way to do it is to spend time with them.

Not long ago, a grandma shared a comment that’s worth passing along. When we asked her about what kept her motivated as a grandparent, her response focused on simple things. She said it’s about being available to the grandkids for whenever they want to talk. She also said some of the most rewarding times were being there to watch their games, contests and performances; she just loves to watch her grandkids do their favorite activities. 

I think she has it right. Usually it doesn’t take anything complicated or extravagant to bond with our grandkids and experience joy along with it. Sharing our lives with our grandkids often happens during simple moments together, and those times often have a bigger impact than we realize.

Here are some examples we received from adults who were thinking back on good times with their grandparents:

“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.”

“Baking bread and dozens of cookies for the holidays.”

“Listening to Grandpa’s stories.”

“Spending the night at my grandparents’ house, eating the favorite special snacks they had and watching the movies we always watched.”

“Spending the night over at their house with lots of cousins there too.”

“Stories about coming to America.”

“Granddad teaching me the Bible.”

“Family holiday dinners.”

“Learning about old times.

“Laughing at Hee Haw and other TV comedies.”

So, as you’re able to, visit them often. Invite them to your home. Create an activity or atmosphere where you can enjoy time together and connect in meaningful ways. Go get ice cream, milkshakes, or a cup of coffee with an older grandchild. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Just being together and investing in them is the point.

Keep doing those simple things with your grandkids. You really are making a difference in their lives.

What are your favorite simple activities with your grandkids? Please respond with a comment on our Facebook page.