This morning I want to share an article with you that I read in preparation for our “Not Apparent” series here at Oak Grove. You can check it out on our website if you like. If I were able to give a longer title to this post it would be this: How can you influence your grandkids…without alienating your children? There are often differences between parents and grandparents on how to go about things, but grandparents who want to be involved in the spiritual formation of their grand-kids are a huge asset to both the children and the parents. But how can you practically influence your grandchildren? Here are a few ideas. You can check out the full article here.
Ideas that can be done any day, any time
- Invite your grandchildren for individual “sleepovers” at your house. While they are over, do some of their favorite activities together.
- Pray with your grandkids. As you pray, thank God for the special qualities he has given them.
- Teach your grandchild a new skill or one of your favorite hobbies, e.g. fishing, skiing, bicycling, jewelry making.
- Let your grandchild teach you a new skill or share a hobby with you.
- Enter a race and run/swim/ride or walk it with your grandchild.
- Talk with your grandchild about a family tradition that you enjoyed with your own grandparents and/or parents, and have passed along to your children. Then continue that tradition with your grandchild. Examples could include seeing fireworks together or going to a parade, having campfires and roasting marshmallows on the beach, seeing the Nutcracker ballet or making tamales during the Christmas season, or riding bikes to a favorite ice cream place.
- Bring out photo albums and talk about when your grandchild was born, how you prayed for them even before they were born, how excited you were to first hold him or her, and how blessed you feel that they are now part of your family.
- Serve together at a local ministry.
- Cook with your grandchildren. Play loud music and sing and cook (maybe even dance) together.
- Build something with your grandchildren.
- Share times when you have blown it, or disobeyed what you sensed God was telling you to do. Let them know how glad you are that Jesus is bigger than any sins.
Ideas for grandparents who live far away
- Choose a book series to read with your grandchildren. Read to them using Skype, or as they get older and the books get longer, read them individually and then discuss the highlights of the book by phone.
- Have breakfast together once a week using Skype or FaceTime.
- Start a collection of something with your grandchild, e.g. dolls from other countries, interesting stones, coins, colored glass, and continue adding to the collection when you travel or when you are together.
- Text them on an ordinary day and let them know you’re thinking about them.
- Call or send a letter when kids have special events or milestones at school or church. For instance, while you may not be present for a baptism, calling your grandchild on that special day is still very memorable. The same can be true of soccer tournaments, school plays, or after a church retreat.
As a parent of three, I love these ideas because I know how important grandparents are to my children. I especially love that grandparents can show their grandkids that Jesus is bigger than their sins. So…if you are a grandparent, don’t give up…your influence is not done!