In Part 1, we focused on the importance of contributing to the legacy of a Christian heritage through involvement with grandchildren. We also suggested some practical ways to accomplish this lofty goal, such as accompanying your grands to low-cost area attractions for children. If the budget allows, a summer treat such as a trip to Hershey Park, will provide a long-lasting impression of your affection.
Long Distance Grandparenting
Even grandparents who live far away can make memorable connections with their grandchildren. Letters and phone calls can keep the relationship growing.
One creative idea is drawing pictures in place of words when you write letters. (Stick figures work fine.) Including word games and riddles can also make your letters special events. Now, in this age of technology, e-mail and cell phones fill the gaps.
A word of caution for long-distance grandparents: When you reunite with your grandchildren, be forewarned that they may require time to warm up to you. Be patient – you’ll soon be the love of their lives!
When the Grandkids Live Nearby
Below are some “no frills’ ideas for spending meaningful time with grandchildren you see regularly.
- Read to your grandchildren. You will be doing a service for the weary parents, who have memorized all of their children’s books.
You may even try going a step further. Your grandchildren will especially remember stories that you weave for them. Interesting storytelling is a skill that most of us can develop. You can retell stories that are in the books your grandchildren beg you to read, or you can create your own. You might surprise yourself!
- Share your life experiences.
Amusing experiences you’ve had with small animals and with other people’s children will captivate your grandchildren. Missionary stories also can be intriguing, as well as educational and spiritually enlightening. Read missionary biographies on your own, and then retell them to your grandchildren (including dramatics, when appropriate). This will enrich your life as well as the lives of your grandchildren.
- Play with your grandchildren.
Going for a walk, sharing a picnic in the park, and playing ball with your grandchildren are simple ways to have fun together. In addition, most grandchildren enjoy helping their grandparents with simple household and outdoor chores, like dusting furniture or pulling weeds.
- Spend special times alone. One idea is to invite your grandchildren to a slumber party with you, then treat them to breakfast at McDonald’s the following morning.
There is no end to the everyday activities that can be shared with young grandchildren. But sometimes no activity produces the most meaningful time. Quietly holding your grandchild on your lap is a special kind of communication. Such moments can create a loving bond between a grandparent and grandchild.
Grand parenting can be a lot of fun! Let the child in you escape as you weave a tapestry of memories for your grandchildren. Allow your relationship with Christ to permeate your time with those grands. You possess a special heritage that only you can give. Pass it on!
That’s what Christianity is about.
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