We have interviewed numerous grandparents to gather their insights and share some of the “secrets” that help them succeed with their grandkids. One grandmother’s responses provide a good three-point summary of a grandparent’s role.
She was responding to questions about what legacy she wants to leave. She said she wants to be remembered as …
A grandma who played.
As grandparents, we should be willing to be interested in what our grandkids like, get down on the floor, play their games, and just have fun. Even young children will quickly figure out if we’re excited to spend time with them and we’re eager to say “yes” to just about any request they have to read a book, play a game, toss a ball, or whatever. They’ll also learn early if we’re usually too busy or we’ll only say “yes” if it’s short, not too involved, or something we’re already interested in. Like this grandmother, try to be the first kind.
Busy parents might think they have good excuses not to pray every day for their children, but at this later stage of life, most grandparents have a little more time. More than that, we have our priorities straight and we know that prayer is a key investment we can make in our grandchildren’s lives. It’s wise to ask the Supplier of all gifts to bestow His blessings on those we love.
Also, being a grandparent in today’s world can be pretty complicated, so we need to humble ourselves, recognize our own need for help, and seek God’s guidance as we work to influence and invest in our grandkids.
A grandma who was there when her grandkids needed her.
This is a special and distinctive quality for so many grandparents. While parents are often busy with a hundred things, we’re usually more relaxed. We have the time to putter around the yard, teach a skill, or just laugh and have fun with the grandkids. We can just enjoy their presence and share our lives with them. Just spending that time can be tremendously comforting and encouraging for them.
And this isn’t just about having fun. Those everyday moments together can help pave the way for deeper conversations, or maybe you will be that person a grandchild goes to for advice when she doesn’t feel like she can talk to her parents. A regular, positive presence can set the stage for that.
Remember: play, pray, and be there.
Keep up the good work with your grandkids. You are making a difference.