What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about ‘grandparent’?
Is it something that you haven't thought about or did you think about “fun”, “an incredible teacher”, “great cook”, “my best friend”, “warm smile”, “gifts”?
A few months back, a friend of mine shared his 'old-man' selfie using a face app. This app uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to read your image and alter it to the closest possibility of your old self.
Why was he curious?
We are ageing and sometimes we wonder what we would look like when we arrive there. Ageing is not a bad sign; it kicked off when we were conceived. We just start to realize it much later.
However, do we stop to think about the roles we could play when we cross over the 50s or later?
One such role is ‘Grandparenting’.
Some of you are already a grandparent.
And I believe you have committed heart & soul to it!
While some of you are still in school or maybe a new parent.
So ‘To be a grandparent’ isn’t creeping into your bucket-list yet!
Then is it important enough to be talked about?
The answer is Yes!
However less popular it may seem; the role of a grandparent is one with a gargantuan potential. It’s seasoned with massive experiences, learnings and wisdom. It’s a role that can speak sense to those who lack it. It’s a position on whom the future generation leans on.
‘But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord ’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children‘
Psalms 103:17 NIV®
The Bible constantly brings up the fact that God’s grace and mercy flow into their grandchildren’s life.
Are we prepared to be a grandparent someday? Mostly No!
It’s in the distant future, usually less desired and less thought of.
In This Article
Let’s look at the top 4 reasons why people think little about it.
4 Top Reasons Why People Believe Grandparenting Role Is Insignificant
1. Difficult to identify with
I’ve not spent much time around my grandparents. I can count the number of visits I’ve made to them. It’s just 10 or 12. Nothing to be proud of.
Although they have been a great host to me and my family, each visit made me sense I could never relate much with them.
2. Disrespect for parents
It’s common in households around the world. Each generation thinks and believes they are better than the former. Pride is one of the prime reasons for disrespecting parents. The grandchildren notice everything and think likewise.
3. Out of sight is out of mind
It’s true! If you have a grandparent residing far away in a different country or state, there aren’t many feelings for them unless you are consciously taught to communicate with them periodically.
4. Out-dated and often a hindrance
We look at grandparents as incapable of keeping themselves up to date with times and needs. We consider them to be out-dated if they show a lack of interest to learn new things. Their incapability to do something often is a hindrance to our ‘selfie’ (selfish) world.
The Bible instructs parents to be good stewards of the children God has placed into their care. These grandchildren are the reward to the grandparents.
‘Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.’ Proverbs 17:6 NIV®
When Moses spoke to the Israelites about God’s heart and desire (recorded in the book of Deuteronomy), the instruction is to teach God’s ways to your children and their children.
God’s been hinting upon the ‘grandparent’ role right from start.
The average age of humans is around 75 years. And ultra-modern medicines have stretched these to a decade or beyond.
This fact is an awakening call for each of us to understand that we could live long enough to see the ‘Grand’ title bestowed on us one day.
When do we start preparing for this role?
There’s no good time as ‘Now’.
Whether you are a grandparent or not, here are a few things you could do to prepare.
16 Tips To Ace at Grand Parenting
1. Pray for your kids
Our kids often get caught up in the demands and chaos of their corporate jobs and family. They are too exhausted to pray. They need a warrior to fight for them in prayer. A heart that could understand their needs even if those are unspoken, a shoulder to rest their head.
They need a voice that tells them “I love you, my child, it’s ok.”
They need to sense a smile from you – a hearty smile that says “I am there for you”.
When was the last time as a grandparent, you told your children you love them?
In Indian culture, dodging a bullet is way easier than expressing ‘love’ in words. It takes an effort to even hug your own child.
Today, go ahead and tell them “I Love You!”. Give them a hug or a virtual one.
2. Pray for your grandkids
These curious young minds are always seeking attention and eager to learn new things. Pray that they would have Godly wisdom. Pray for their safety, friends, health, academics, career, marriage and future generations.
Trust that the Lord will show them their purpose in life.
3. Commit to be fit.
Get a head start on being fit. Physically and Mentally. Eat less and better. Sleep well. Focus on what’s right. It’s hard but it’s worth it.
Fill up your minds and meditate on things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling and gracious Philippians 4:8 MSG
4. Be cognizant about happenings
Technology – learn to use a smartphone. Technologies that impressed us in earlier James Bond films are up for grabs. Don’t shy away from technical stuff.
Current affairs, especially those that could pose a threat or would be beneficial for the next generation. These give us insight on what to pray for.
e.g.We can pray against wrong decisions taken which would place the next generation at a disadvantage.
5. Conduct small group talks
If you are talkative or not, talking to your grandkids will benefit them a lot. It boosts listening skills.
6. Read to them and with them
Read a book, short stories. Ensure that you have read it first so that you modulate your voice better and give a superior reading experience.
7. Write to them
I invite you to read this post There’s a writer in everyone.
It’s a great time to write about what it’s like to live in this pandemic.
I have read about people who lived through holocaust and wartime.
A glimpse into their life, the struggle for simple needs can often bring us kneeling down and thanking God for the abundance we enjoy.
8. Harness your hobby, formal education or work experience
Maybe you acquired a formal education but stayed back managing home affairs due to circumstances. Use your education now, teach your grandkids.
If you have a background in any of this, there are lots you can do. I am mentioning just a few.
Art & music – show them tips on drawing, making beautiful & useful things out of waste. Write a song or record a song for them (even before they arrive here on earth). Teach them to play a musical instrument. Finance – impart into them the value of money, saving and generosity. IT – Coach them on basic programming concepts. You can guide them as they take online classes on coding. Coaching / Education – teach them creative ways to learn new things. Naturalist – talk to them about God’s glory that is displayed all throughout the creation.
Cooking – share easy child-friendly recipes.
9. Organize parties
All children love it. Parties can turn out to be creative modes of learning. Expose them to entertainment that is mindful of not corrupting them.
You can play movies that inspire them to be a better person (keeping out ones that have obscene language or no moral value). Have scrabble nights.
10. Be their best friend
Listen to them. Play and do things with them or for them. Talk about your childhood to them. Understand, protect and support them.
11. Shed off the ‘old’ ness rut
Surprise your grandkids with new talents/ skills. Live out your passion. Show the younger generation that learning is not biased to age. Do new things or old things in new ways.
A woman in her 70s became a local celebrity in China due to her energetic efforts as a volunteer traffic cop. Granny Cai, as she was affectionately known, risked her life on a daily basis to make sure that both drivers and pedestrians obeyed the traffic rules on a busy road close to her home. She said, “I am nearing the end of my life and I wanted to do something useful to other people.” You have to admit the good old granny’s passion for keeping people safe!
(Excerpt from Our Daily Journey with God -Volume 3)
12. Bridge the gap
Help your grandkids understand their parent.
Do you remember? It’s not easy being a child. Help them communicate with their parents. Help your child see themselves in their children.
13. Partner with God’s plan
Just like Lois, Timothy’s grand-mom, teach young and younger minds about God. His ways and heart.
Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Deut 4:9b NIV®
14. Value relations
Teach our kids to value the older generation. To value grandparents. To spend time with them in whatever way possible.
15. Look for ways to help
Humble yourself and ask them if you could help them. And just do it. Often kids need the support and love of their parents more than anything else.
I once read that we should help our children look upward in faith and forward in hope.
16. Pray for yourself
A good grandparent leaves a good legacy for their grandchildren. Don’t let this season of life just go by. Use it to the fullest. I understand we are unsure about how it will all turn out when we get to that place of grandparenting. But it’s never too late to prepare.
Pray right now that we will be vibrant and full of zeal, bubbling with the passion to teach young minds creatively and uniquely.
Pray that we would have a grandparenting style that resonates well with our children and grandchildren.
Psalm 92 points out that the righteous (the one who is right with God) will bear fruit and will stay fresh and green even in their old age.
It’s not about looks.
Fresh is the opposite of ‘being out-dated’, green represents ‘full of life’.
God promises freshness and life to the aged.
I bet that makes you look forward to the ‘Grand’ title already 😊
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children.
Proverbs 13:22 NIV®
I am a momma and I hope to be a grand-momma someday.
As I pray to continually grow in wisdom and fully understand the heart of Jesus, I hope to come back and update this post with more learnings. 😊
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