by Dr. Ken Canfield

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a highly motivated and involved grandparent. But there are grandparents who see their grandkids once or twice a year and give them gifts, but beyond that they have little to do with them. And some aren’t interested in changing it.

It’s sad, but I understand because there are numerous barriers that keep us from being the best grandparents we can be, and I want to mention one briefly this week as a reminder and a challenge to you:

Some grandparents have a limited view of their remaining years.

Yes, there aren’t too many great things about getting older, but having grandchildren is definitely one of them—especially if you have fourteen grandkids, like me.

Even if you have potentially thirty or forty years of life left, you may be living as though your best years are in the past. Maybe it seems like spending so long raising kids and working to support a family have earned you the right to take it easy.

The world may seem to be saying, “Slow down.” You may even get messages—explicit or implicit—that try to tell you, “You’re out of touch.” “You’re not relevant anymore.” “You had your chance; now it’s our turn.”

But I say don’t listen to those messages. Instead, listen to your heart, because you might hear it saying, “What’s next? I’m eager and willing.” “I can make a difference.” “I have a unique and important role to play in my grandkids’ lives.”

Grandparents: you have purpose.

And I believe a big part of that purpose is about the next generations. Keep looking forward with hope and expectation during these later years. There’s so much more for you to accomplish in many areas of life, and high on the list is supporting, encouraging and teaching your children and especially your grandchildren. What you do benefits all three generations.

And as long as you have breath, that purpose remains, and it can revitalize this season of your life. You have a significant influence as a grandparent, and there are fantastic rewards along the way. So please don’t settle for being uninvolved in your grandkids’ lives.

How do you stay motivated and purposeful as a grandparent? Share your wisdom and pick up a few tips on our Facebook page.

Read more from Dr. Ken in his book, The HEART of Grandparenting. Find out more and get your copy here.