Seven Keys to being a Good Grandparent
by: Bill Bratt
How time flies. It seems like it was only yesterday when we were a small child sitting on our parentís lap. The next thing we know we are starting our first day of school and then all of a sudden we are graduating from high school and then from college. It seems like a moment later we are getting married and then having our children and then before we know it we are holding our first grandchild. We all have had many Kodak moments in our life and some of the most memorable moments are when we are around our children and especially our grandchildren. So how can we be good grandparents?
Key #1: Love your Grandchildren
This should come as a natural instinct, but how do we love our grandchildren? Love is outgoing concern for others, so we need to have that outgoing concern of caring for them, protecting them, and at times spoiling them. We need to give them a lot of hugs and kisses. We need to tell them that we love them and that they are very special.
Key #2: Spend Time with your Grandchildren
It important to spend time with your grandkids. You can play games or play ball with them. Give them a piggy back ride or pretend that they are wheelbarrow. Spend time with them by supporting them in school functions by attending their awards programs, dance recitals and ball games. One of the problems in our society today is that families are separated by distance, and this puts a strain on families. Try to get together and spend some quality time with your grandchildren. Support them and be there for them.
Key #3: Communicate with Your Grandchildren
Talk to them. What are their likes and dislikes, how is school going, what are their goals for the future? Tell them stories about your life and about your childhood.
If distance separates you from your grandkids, then pick up the phone and call them or send them an email or a card. Kids love getting mail and email. Another important point in communication is to listen to your grandchildren. Sometimes this takes a little patience because little children sometimes ramble and have a little difficulty in putting their thoughts together.
What will your grandchildren remember about you? Will they remember that you liked to talk to them?
Key #4: Teach Your Grandchildren about Godís Way of Life
Teach your grandchildren that God is love and He wants them to keep His Ten Commandments for their benefit. Notice that this command also includes grandparents also teaching their grandchildren: "Fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged" ..... "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deuteronomy 6:2, 7).
Teach them that Jesus loves them and that He wants them to pray to God every night. Read them Bible stories and give them the morals of the stories or the end results of people who obey God and that all things work together for good to them who love God (Romans 8:28).
Encourage your grandchildren to try new things and to be involved in different activities but to always put God first.
Key #5: Set the Right Example
It is imperative that grandparents set the right example. Our example should be based on Christian values and the Ten Commandments. Godís Ten Commandments is the foundation on which our character should be built upon. They tell us what is right and what is wrong and how to be righteous: "For all Your commandments are righteousness" (Psalms 119:172). This is fundamental information that our grandchildren need to know so they can develop righteous character and be good citizens and good students in school. Other ways that grandparents can set the right example is to be mannerly and to be positive and encouraging. Be considerate of their feelings and remember that their thoughts are important. Please avoid put downs and the negative connotations that goes along with it.
Key #6: Provide for your Grandchildren.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, instructed grandparents to provide an inheritance for their grandchildren: "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children" (Proverbs 13:22). An inheritance could be monetary or it could be a family heirloom, jewelry, antique furniture, etc. that could be divided among your children and your grandchildren.
Key #7: Record Your Experiences
If a young person has wisdom he would take advantage of his grandparents knowledge and experiences. It is much better for you to learn from the experiences of others rather than experiencing everything on your own including mistakes, bad decisions, success and failure.
Set a goal for yourself to record your important experiences and highlights of your life and important dates and events of your family.
In Conclusion: The importance of grandparenting can perhaps be summed up with this proverb: "Children's children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father" (Proverbs 17:6). One of the greatest joys of being a grandparent is seeing your grandchildren setting goals and accomplishing them, attaining a good education, having a good job, being an upstanding citizen, living a godly life, having a happy marriage, and starting a family, which means that we then will be a great-grandparent.