Grand Parenting: A Beautiful Investment in the Future by Vicki Hollon
We have a new grandchild in our family, Eden. Eden’s arrival means added joy, and an increased commitment on mine and Les’ part to make a positive difference in her world. Many grandparents today are making incredible investments to support the younger generations in their family. Some grandparents are raising their grandchildren, or shouldering primary responsibility for them while parents work. For others, grand parenting is a shared weekend together, a summer vacation, FaceTime or a phone conversation. No matter the amount of time spent together, there is a uniqueness to the connection between grandchildren and grandparents that is vitally important! Whatever your circumstances and the size of your responsibility with your grandchildren, I pray you make the most of your time together.
An important first step to a long and successful relationship with your grandchild is to have clear communication and expectations. For instance, how often do you want to babysit or be included in events such as school functions? How long do you want grandchildren to visit in your home?
Whether you live in close proximity or a long distance from your grandchild, you are in a unique position to provide continuity in his or her life. You are the family historian (or one of them) and you can add a rich sense of family tradition to their life. Your connection with your grandchild can help him or her have a positive attitude towards growing up and aging, and you can model what it means to keep growing through all of life. You are in a unique position to share your faith in natural ways as you spend time together. You can be creative about other forms of communication as you seek to pass on what is most important to you.
If you are not a “biological grandparent,” don’t underestimate how much you are needed to help nurture future generations. There are countless opportunities to serve in the role of a “grandparent” in the lives of children who need your influence, and children at Trinity Baptist Church are among those children.
I have become aware of several of our older Trinity ladies who have formed a powerful connection with a younger Trinity couple and their two children. They consistently sit near each other every Sunday during worship. They greet each other with hugs and smiles and inquire about their weeks. Sometimes they go to lunch together after worship, and recently the children asked to sit with their older friends instead of their parents. I thank God for the beauty of these relationships that are creating lasting consequences in the lives of these children.