They need us.
That pretty much sums it up.
I recently mentioned grand-mothering in our Children’s Ministry Facebook group and asked this question, “What is something that you wish your mother or mother-in-law knew?” I received 130 comments. Our moms had A LOT to say.
One mom wrote this, “We NEED you! We need your wisdom. We need you to disciple us with the patience and wisdom that years of living have given you. And we need to see you do all of that with our children because it reminds us to breathe. That these hard moments aren’t forever, but our children will live eternity somewhere. Help us disciple them into loving relationships with Jesus.”
I gleaned from the many comments a few practical jewels that will help grandmothers do just that. Prayerfully read these summaries of what our mothers had to say:
- Even though they don’t always say it and often feel too busy to call, they love and treasure you. Don’t wait — call them!
- Tell your daughter or daughter-in-law that they are doing a great job in their parenting. They are often struggling and need your affirmation.
- Don’t major on the giant doll houses and other showy gifts. The moms and their children want you. Several moms lamented the fact that the grandparents of their children bestowed a lot of gifts, but not enough of themselves.
- Practical gifts are very much appreciated. Raising children is expensive so it is great to have occasional help with shoes, clothes, camps, activities and even the occasional big pack of paper towels.
- Moms see your love for your grandkids demonstrated by your focused attention. Don’t spend time on the phone when your grandkids are around. (… And we always thought it was the other way around!)
- Moms also see your love for your grandkids demonstrated by spending time with their children. A grandma who plans special activities for her grandchildren sends a love letter right to the mom’s heart.
- Say “yes” as much as you can with enthusiasm. We can’t always watch the kids or attend the soccer game, but when we can, we should do it and do it with enthusiasm! Our adult kids and our grandchildren read our attitude as much as our words.
- Start building those relationships with the grandkids when they are very young. It doesn’t work to wait until they are easier to manage.
- Model grace and kindness, not entitlement. Maintaining a servant’s heart will build strong relationships with both your kids and your grandkids.
- Moms want you to understand that their child rearing techniques will most likely be different than your own. When they do things differently, it is NOT because they thought that you did things wrong. Don’t take offense and ALWAYS show grace.
- Communicate often with the grandkids. Send them mail. Call them on their birthdays. Send them pictures via texts.
- Moms want you to respect their family’s way of doing things. Don’t let your grandchild eat that sugary cupcake if mom doesn’t allow it. Only allow the video games and TV viewing guidelines that your grandchildren’s family allows. If you want to deviate from the family rules on occasion, ask the parents first.
- Step-grandparents who treat their step-grandchildren as God’s extra blessings are treasures beyond words.
- Moms want you to treat cousins equally. They want you to understand that their children notice when their cousins get more time or attention from grandma. When your out-of-town grandkids come to visit, make sure that they have some time alone with you. See that not ALL of the time spent together involves the in-town cousins.
- Share your family stories. Share your home. Share your heart. Share your struggles and your victories. Most importantly, share your faith! Share the gospel and your own story of salvation. The difference that can make in your family is astounding.
In summary, it’s all about the relationships. Regard your relationships with your children and grandchildren as the most precious of commodities. Guard, protect and nourish those relationships so that you have the opportunities to invest in and enrich the lives of the next generation.
You are loved, Grandma (and Grandpa)! You are needed.
Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers. – Proverbs 17:6, ESV
Children’s Minister – Fort Worth Campus
Real Heroes Kids Kamp 2020
The best week of the summer is almost here! Swoop to www.ccbcfamily.org to sign up now and receive a preview of Real Heroes 2020, along with a schedule and supply list to help you plan. We also recommend thinking about who you might feel comfortable inviting over to your backyard for each day’s adventure. All the kids in your life will love the crafts, cartoons, music videos, Bible stories and games we have planned.