Being a good grandparent is not all about gifts and chocolate. It’s about quality time and fun activities too. The best grandparents are a rock-solid foundation of love in a child’s life. Children need to know that no matter what might be going on in their lives, no matter what disappointments they might encounter at school or on the street out in the world, they are always safe and loved at the grandparent’s houses.
A grandparent offers a taste of a different world with a slower pace and more time to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. None of our roles in life are clearly defined and grandparents have an especially difficult set of roles trying to both bond with their grandchildren in a manner that is satisfying and at the same time trying not to step on the sensitive toes of their adult children. They both looked so content as they watched their jobs. It didn’t cost any money but was so valuable for both of them.
Grandchildren are a joy because you get all the fun but very little of the longer-term responsibility. Sure, you’re responsible for them when you’re babysitting them but if they get too much, you are able to hand them back. Moreover, unless you’re standing in for the parents, you don’t need to make the challenging decisions about schooling, after-school activities, health care, and such. You can advise and support but ultimately, you are much less responsive so it can free you up to enjoy watching your grandchildren grow up and witness all the good things
Here are some ways a grandparent can positively impact a grandchild’s life:
- Try to deal with the transition to being a grandparent gracefully
- The unconditional love of a grandparent is sheer magic
- Be fully aware that your role as a grandparent matters
- Build a good relationship with your grandchildren
- Be careful not to over-spoil your grandchildren
- Give gifts that the grandchildren will appreciate
- Help your grandchild become a spiritual being
- The role of the grandparent is often unclear
- Teach them about the importance of play
- Show respect and love for your children
- Take photos of you and your grandkids
- Try your level best to not play favorites
- Remember that you’re not in charge
- Avoid being mean or unsupportive
- Understanding your importance
- Your best gift is the gift of time
- Tell the grandchildren stories
- Your opinions aren’t always welcome
- Do some activities outdoors together
- Do not try to interfere or boss the new parents
- Decide the ways in which you want to be of help
- Don’t underestimate how valuable you are in life
- Deciding how involved you’ll be as a grandparent
- Do not presume old parenting habits are accurate
- Don’t be too over-indulging with your grandchildren
Never ever disagree with your adult children about their parenting styles in front of their children. If you disagree with them and you feel that it is important enough to discuss then do it when you are alone with your children. Grandchildren do not benefit or thrive from observing friction.
You are a source of wisdom, experience, and patience. You may also be a source of childcare, either regularly or occasionally. You can help relieve ever-busy parents of childcare when they need respite. But most of all, you get to have fun and enjoy the next generation, to watch them grow and know that you play a key part in their development. Help grandchild develops spiritual practices that make her life more peaceful and meaningful.
Seeing multiple generations of their family is an important way for children to learn who they are and how to live. This transmission of identity and family connection can be one of the greatest and simplest gifts of all.
The best you can do for your grandchildren is to pray for them always. Aside from praying for their good health, safety, and provision for their needs, ask God to guide them as they grow up. With all the calamities happening around the globe, this world is becoming a dangerous place to live in. Plus, morality is fast deteriorating too. Your prayers can help protect the future of these kids