7 Things to Do to Make ‘Grandma Day’ Special
- Anne Peterson Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2019 16 Jan
Twelve years ago my son placed his son in my arms. And I’ve been in love ever since.
Living in the same town as my grandchildren was no accident; this is something very important to us. Spending time with these little people brings me joy. Want to know how to make the most of their visits? Here are seven things to do to make “Grandma Day” special.
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1. Be Kind
No matter what is going on in our lives, we still have choices. Kindness is something we can choose. Little ones need it just as much as anyone else. So when you hear those little footsteps coming in your front door, put on kindness. Will they make messes? Yes, you can count on it. Will they be loud? Yes. Will it sometimes be tiring? Of course. But everything is easier when we are in the right frame of mind. And kindness begets kindness. We get to decide how we will one day be remembered. How do you remember your grandparents? Enough said.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
Kindness doesn’t cost us anything. Kind words are easier to hear. And if things do escalate, keeping calm and using gentle words is more effective than raising your voice with little ones. Remember that one teacher in school who kept her class under control by lowering her voice to get their attention?
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2. Be Patient
Children are rushed everywhere. There’s school, “Hurry, don’t be late!… Did you remember to put your homework in your backpack?… I told you to get your shoes; they’re on the back porch… Let’s go!”
It’s nice to have a place they can come and just be. When things need to be done, let them know a few minutes ahead of time, so they can pace themselves. Children respond to those who are patient.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
To be patient is to be loving. No one likes to be rushed. Try to remember what it was like to be little.
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3. Be Present
This is really important in this day and age. We are bombarded by so many things--the phone, the internet, TV, etc. When you’re with your grandchildren, just be with them. Unplug. It’s refreshing being around those who do one thing at a time. There’s no need to multitask when you are watching little ones. To a child, everything is right now. Don’t miss a single moment.
This is one lesson we learned when we had our grandchild, Olivia, whom we lost at only 14 months old. Olivia had a chromosomal disorder, Trisomy 18. Livie taught us the value of being where you are. If we hadn’t learned this, we would have missed out on part of her precious life.
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4. Be Creative
Think back to when you were a child. I bet you can come up with ways you were creative. You can color, paint, or move the creativity outside, adding color to the sidewalk or driveway. Hours after my grandchildren go home, I still enjoy the art they leave behind. One time, they colored the concrete landscape blocks in our front yard. After they finished, the blocks became a giant CandyLand game board, and they were the playing pieces. I smile just thinking about it.
Share God’s creativity with your grandchildren. God hung the stars in space, and named each one. He made everything we see. And every day the sky is his blank canvas where he creates stunning sunsets. When we are creative, we’re being like our heavenly Father.
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5. Be Sensitive
Just as you discovered with your own children, every child is unique. I have two children, now grown. They each required different methods of discipline. Each child is an individual with their own personalities.
If a child acts out, ask questions instead of jumping to conclusions. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Love thinks the best about a person. This gives the child the benefit of a doubt and he/she will feel more prone to tell you what is going on.
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6. Be Ready to Teach
Every interaction could be a teaching moment. When one child hurts another, it’s an opportunity to talk about forgiveness.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
God gives us the awesome responsibility of sharing God’s Word with our little ones. The Holy Spirit will guide and direct, giving us opportunities we didn’t see coming. We can be ready for an answer at any given moment.
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7. Be Real
We live in a society that puts too much emphasis on outward appearances. But God sees things differently.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7)
He knows our hearts and who we are. Our lives need to reflect our beliefs.
Being real with our grandchildren gives them the freedom to be real with us. It’s only when people don’t feel accepted that they put on facades.
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Grandchildren are Gifts
Scripture tells us that children are a gift from the Lord.
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)
How we relate to our grandchildren shows God how much we appreciate these gifts.
Some of my best days are Grandma days. When grandkids come over, we can have the kind of day where we’re just waiting for it to end. Or we can look to the Lord to be kind, real, sensitive, and present with the gifts God has placed in our lives. Be the grandparent God has called you to be.
Dear Lord, I pray you give us wisdom as grandparents. Help us each time we get together with our grandchildren. God, you created these precious little ones. You know their thoughts even before any of them were formed. When we spend time with them, let every word that escapes our lips be words that would please you, God. Help us, Lord, because we love these precious ones. And thank you for these gifts. We pray this in your Son’s precious name. Amen.
Anne Peterson loves being a grandma. Anne is a regular contributor to Crosswalk as well as being a poet, speaker and published author. Two of her children’s books are The Crooked House andEmma’s Wish. You can connect with Anne at www.annepeterson.com or on her facebook page: www.annepetersonwrites.com. Sign up for her email list to receive her free Ebook, Real Love.
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