Okay, we said we would never do this–we would never write about grand-parenting but blogging is different. Right? So here we go. We just read that Google is threatening to replace grandparents! Whatever kids want to know, they can goggle it. God forbid! We don’t want to be replaced by technology, but if Trevor wants to know how to boil an egg or make French Toast, he can google and get the recipe and directions.
Thank goodness, Google has limits.
Google can’t give a hug. Google can’t pray and encourage Erin when she is going through a hard time with her friends in middle school. And Google can’t run interference between grandchild and parent–maybe we should take a cue from Google on that one.
Research confirms grandparents are important. Google cannot replace Grandma!
In a study of 1500 children, those who were connected and involved with grandparents had fewer behavior and emotional problems.
We want to connect with our grandchildren but here’s the question–how far can we go as grandparents when we feel the need to redirect a misbehaving grandchild?
Our guiding principle is, if the parent is present, we look the other way and let the parent, parent.
We remember we’re the “grand” parents and one of the “grand” aspects is we are not the parents. However, if we are alone with a grandchild who could benefit from our seasoned wisdom, we may step in. But…very, very cautiously. How much direction we can give is dependent upon how close our relationship is with that particular grandchild.
We also like to apply the four-to-one principle if a redo is in order. We seek to give four affirmations along with the correction.
Here are four thoughts to reflect upon:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s mostly all small stuff!
- Let your grandkids know you’re praying for them.
- That feisty 4-year-old will make a great adult who isn’t swayed by others.
- Love unconditionally; affirm generously, overlook much!
What would you add to the list?
A final thought: Grandparents have a unique opportunity to positively influence their grandchildren. Google will never be able to replace a grandparent’s love and encouragement. And…that’s got to be encouraging!
Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up just as in fact your are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11
Claudia Arp and David Arp, MSW, grandparents of eight, are founders and directors of Marriage Alive International, international speakers, creators of the award-winning date night program, 10 Great Dates. The Arps have written over 30 books.