NANA’S HOUSE by Teresa Kindred

Do you ever worry about what the world will be like when your grandkids are adults?

I think about it quite often. Usually, when I look at what’s happening and where things appear to be going in today’s America, I’m tempted to dwell on the bad and the ugly things. Most of all, it drives me to my knees in prayer for the next generations.

I think about international relations. There have always been countries that seem like threats to America. As a little girl I was afraid of Russia and Vietnam because my parents watched the nightly news from our supper table. Walter Cronkite informed us of the day’s body count while we ate biscuits and gravy. My brother was three years younger and it probably went over his head, but it terrified me. A lot has changed since then, and I know things will change again; there will probably be other hot spots around the world by the time my grandchildren are grown.

Much of it comes down to leadership. If I were to ask you about the greatest leader of your lifetime, whomever you chose, I bet they were someone you believed knew the truth and spoke the truth. It was someone who could make decisions based on the good of the people and not an upcoming election. In my opinion, there is a big shortage of great leaders, and it’s difficult to see this changing soon. In quite a few elections, I have voted for what appeared to be the lesser of two evils. Still, I will vote in every election for as long as I live and am of sound mind, and I hope all my grandchildren (and yours too) will do the same.

Maybe the best thing we can do, along with prayer, is to do our part to instill in our grandkids a love of country, patriotism, good character, and the ability to make the right decisions under pressure. Just think … one or more of your grandchildren could someday be a leader in their community, state, or nation. And we can help prepare them.

The next time you’re at a loss for what to talk about on a long car ride, give your grandkids a history lesson. Take them to museums, historical monuments and, if you can, to Washington D.C. and Arlington. They will never forget it.

What about diseases? Years ago our families were worried about polio, and thankfully that threat has been eliminated, but we all know about many other dangers that have come along since. My mother died of colon cancer, and my dad of a heart attack. While there hasn’t been a cure for cancer or heart disease, there have been so many advances in medicine and treatment.

What health issues will our grandchildren face? We can’t say for sure, but we can help educate them about preventative care. Obesity, smoking, vaping, lack of exercise, diet and many more problems are things we should be talking to them about—and being good examples—whenever we can.

Screen time is another big threat. The statistics about media use and screen time in America are staggering—more than seven hours a day, and more than nine hours a day for some teenagers. I’m absolutely convinced that cell phones are affecting our children and grandchildren adversely—at home, in classrooms, and elsewhere. How much worse could things get in the future, where our grandchildren will live? How much will their lives and values be influenced by all the information overload and social media powerhouses that share news whether it is true or fake?

There’s so much division expressed online. We were a divided country back when I grew up in the 60s, but sadly I think it’s even worse now. I hope we can find a way to reunite, but if we don’t make changes soon our grandchildren may never know the real meaning of a “United” States of America.

But I know there’s a lot of good, too.

I saved the best for last. The fact that you have read this far means you are concerned about America’s future. That’s a good thing, because the first step is recognizing there is a need to change things. How and if we do that is an individual choice.

Grandparents, we do make a difference. First, a shout out to grandparents raising their grandchildren or caring for their grands while parents work. What an opportunity you have to invest in their lives and the future of America!

There are ways all of us can help—maybe financially, or physically … like babysitting or taking food to give mom a break. We can help spiritually by being a good example and carefully addressing children’s spiritual needs.

Do all you can to stay positive. We don’t always see or hear the good news happening every day, but it’s out there if we look for it. There are stories of kindness, heroism, generosity, love, friendship, faith and perseverance. Look for them. Sign up for daily reminders about them. We need to stay positive about life and about the future so we can share that hope and optimism with our grandkids. We need to live in such a way that some of our goodness, kindness and resilience will shine through and make a difference even twenty or thirty years into the future and long after we are gone.

And keep praying for them. Trust that God hears our prayers and that He’s big enough to take care of all the tomorrows, especially the ones that belong to our grandchildren.

What about you? What worries you about the future, and how do you stay positive and instill hope in your grandkids? Please leave a comment at the Grandkids Matter Facebook page here or send me a note at

Read more from Teresa here.

Teresa Kindred is a freelance writer, former teacher, and author of several books, including The Faith-Filled Grandmother. She’s the mom of five grown children and “Nana” to seven precious grandchildren. She and her husband live in Kentucky. Her blog for grandparents is at