Connecting with Your Grandkids
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There's no place like home, except Grandma's. ~ Author Unknown
Most of us fondly remember time spent with our grandparents. The stories granddad would tell, and the warm cookies grandma would bake. Those precious moments are memories we can cherish even after they are gone.
Like parenting, there is no manual on how to be the best grandparent. Acknowledging the lack of Christian resources, author Cheri Fuller wrote Connect with Your Grandkids to encourage her peers as they develop relationships with their grandchildren.
Take Tons of Pictures
As a grandmother, Fuller has learned that it’s vital to be involved in her grandkids’ lives.
“One of the things I do is I snap pictures. I’m the roving grandma photographer,” Fuller says. "I snap pictures of what we’re doing, pictures together with their cousins. I don’t do fancy creative memories albums; I do little albums... but they’re for them to have in their rooms. I make it of that trip, that time together. I might have 25 pictures, sometimes even more.”
In these picture book, she adds captions to each photo. Her grandkids who are pre-readers “try to figure out what they say,” Fuller says. “They have their parents read it to them and share it with them.”
Become Web Savvy
Fuller, like so many grandparents, doesn’t live near to her grandkids. To close the physical gap, she gets online to talk with them.
“Another wonderful resource for grandparents today -- that we didn’t have 10 years ago -- is the webcam,” Fuller says. “And there’s a chapter in Connect with your Grandkids that gives you so many creative ideas to connect with your grandkids via the Internet. Because if your grandkids are anywhere between the ages now of five (it used to be about eight) and 18 or older, they’re probably on the Internet. So go join them.”
Talking online with your grandchildren helps you stay in touch throughout the year. You can share in their triumphs as they win a soccer game and their trials as they share difficulties they are having at school. An avid reader, Fuller enjoys using her webcam time to read to her grandkids.
“The great thing is, when you get together with them, it doesn’t take them three or four days to warm up to you because they’ve been seeing you...,” Fuller says. “They feel very comfortable. You have much better chats when you do get together.”
Whatever way you decide to connect with your grandchild make sure that you follow through – whether it’s online, by phone, or letter.
“The important thing is grandchildren tend to love their grandparents anyway,” Fuller says. “They kind of pick up that we really love them, and we’re really delighted to be a grandparent. And so the old saying is very true, ‘love is spelled T-I-M-E to a child.’”
Praying for Your Grandchildren
Besides spending time together in person or via email, Fuller says it is crucial for grandparents to pray for their grandchildren.
“The greatest connector of all is praying for them because prayer connects us heart to heart with our grandchild and with God. And what a gift it is to have a praying grandma or granddaddy,” she says. “That’s the most powerful influence we can have on their life is to pray for them, strategically, biblically, pray for them to know Christ and the power of His Spirit and His love, that God would open the eyes of their understanding.”
By praying for your grandkids, you are impacting their eternity.
“Our prayers are set before God, and His heart is set upon those prayers.says that the prayers of the saints are in golden bowls right by the throne of grace. God’s heart is set on them. His eyes are upon them,” Fuller says. “At the right time, He’s going to pour out the answer; He’s going to pour out the blessing. And so our prayers can impact the next generation and the next generation and the next. I mean, what an exciting thing that is. That’s loving, loving influence.”
Fuller uses a prayer calendar to remember to pray regularly and individually for her grandchildren. She says it's especially helpful for those granddads and grandmas who have 10 or more grandkids.
“Each week you put a different grandchild’s name on that day, and that’s a special day of prayer,” Fuller explains. “You might let them pick the day. It might be based on their birthday. Instead of saying ‘Bless Charlie,’ you say something specific. You say to your grandchild, ‘Wednesday is your special day of prayer. What would you like me to pray this month on your special day? It’s on my calendar.’ And you have the calendar out when they come, and they can see, ‘That’s my special day of prayer. Grandma’s praying for me. Granddad’s praying for me.’”
Make connecting with your grandkids a priority and they will respond to that love and attention. Both grandparent and grandchild will be blessed.
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