by Dr. Ken Canfield

One often-overlooked resource to help you be the best grandparent you can be is a sense of community. It’s a great benefit to know you’re not alone—especially when you’re struggling through some issue or health concern, or you simply can’t be physically present with friends & family because of social distancing. But you can still be social!

Maybe the biggest challenge here is to stay positive. We can’t give in or give up, and often it will mean we’re the ones taking initiative to reach out to another grandparent to check in and offer some encouragement. And when we need that connection, we can’t be too proud to lean on others and really depend on their friendship. It’s what we should be doing as caring members of the human race, and there are benefits to our grandparenting as well.

There are other grandparents who not only share a love for grandchildren, but probably have been through a challenge you’re facing with a child or grandchild, or they might be in the middle of one right now.

We all struggle at times to know what’s best in our role. But when we’re part of a larger community that shares similar values and situation, everyone wins. We’re able to share transparently about pain and losses, hold each other accountable, and we gain encouragement, support, and often strategies that can lead to success. Sometimes we just need to hear someone say, “Stick with it.” Often, their support will help equip us to do something amazing.

So be intentional about meeting with other grandparents, even if it’s over the phone, video chat, or sitting six feet apart somewhere. We all have our challenges and struggles during this season of life, and we should be listening to each other, praying together, and offering each other encouragement and comfort. We need to cherish that encouragement from other grandparents.

How have you kept in touch with other grandparents lately?

Creating that sense of community is a big part of what we’re about at Grandkids Matter. Please connect with us and other grandparents on our Facebook page.