1. Defining a Good Grandparent
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The question of what makes a good grandparent can resound in the heart of both first-time grandparents, and those who are counting their generational offspring in the double-digits.
Having passed first through the rite of parenthood, we may find that we are painfully aware of our parental inadequacies and easily fall prey to unrealistic expectations as grandparents.
We quite simply want to do better and we may try to meet every perceived need with more; more giving, more time spent, more saying yes. This can be a delightful experience as grandchild number one enters the world, and an impossible standard that parents might expect to see repeated, as other little ones enlarge your grand-parenting crown.
A good grandparent can be defined in many ways, and are as diverse as each personality. It is important to focus on what God calls us to as grandparents. Godly grandparents carry these things in common:
First, they actively love God and others in their daily life, exhibiting this naturally to their children, and grandchildren.
Next, they understand the legacy of prayer that they can leave as they pray over their grandchildren.
Finally, they seek to teach their grandchildren about Jesus in the ways that are available to them.
2. The Pressure of Expectations
Just stating the call to biblical grandparenting, likely does nothing to lessen the expectations placed on us as we seek to be good grandparents.
Often, attempting to reflect our faith may find us juggling some picture of the ideal grandparent concocted by our children’s ideals, dreams, or needs, our own desires to be a good grandparent, and a mistaken religious standard.
Our children, who are now navigating the rough (and rewarding) road of parenting, may remember their own doting grandparents of another generation, and are possibly looking to you to reflect the image in their minds.
As grandparents, we need to firmly place our expectations in God, and choose an intentional path of grandparenting that achieves our desired impact on our grandchildren that is based on our personal abilities, as well as our financial and time constraints.
Simply put, consider carefully what you want to do and what you can do, and then communicate these things in loving-kindness.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Sam Edwards