Slowing Down to Grandparent

We all know how crazy life can get when you’re parenting little ones. It seems as though you never have a moment to yourself. We don’t normally associate such a hectic lifestyle with grandparents, however. When I think of grandparents, my mind immediately drifts back to my own childhood when I spent considerable time with my maternal grandparents.

After a full day of Whiffle Ball, my brother and I would bike back to my grandparents’ house and join them for some refreshing lemonade on the front porch. On hot summer nights we’d walk through the neighborhood with them, hearing stories of neighbors they had known for 20 or 30 years! Everything seemed to move in slow motion when we were with our grandparents–maybe because they moved in slow motion!

But times have changed. Grandparents today are younger, hipper (is that still an “in” word?), and definitely on the go. I regularly see grandparents chasing their grandkids on the playground, hanging out with them at arcades, and riding bikes with them. I can’t envision my grandparents doing any of this when I was young! But because many of these grandparents are actually fulfilling a parenting role in their grandkids’ lives, they almost have to do these things just to keep up with them.

But this makes me wonder…are grandparents today falling into this same trap of busyness that parents have, and how will this affect their grandkids? I know what it’s like to have young kids in the house while you’re trying to work, take care of the home, make time for God, and also make sure you’re taking time to teach them about God. It’s exhausting–and it seldom all gets done. Many grandparents are now in this exact same place. Many are still working, while some have had to come out of retirement in order to financially care for their grandkids. It’s a tough place.

On this blog, you’ll hear Dianne and I talk a lot about being intentional when it comes to grandparenting. It’s times like this that require it. I’d like to encourage grandparents today to try to slow down a little, especially when you’re with your grandchildren. Take time to walk and talk with them, sharing the things of God as you go. Teach them a craft or a skill. The last time my dad came to visit, he and my teenager spent hours together in the garage on some electrical project. I have no idea what they were doing, but my son still talks about the time he and Grandpa Tom spent together that day.

My husband, our three kiddos, and Grandpa Tom (Christmas ’08)

They will remember the times that you share with them forever. And the seeds you plant for God’s kingdom will take root in their hearts. But you have to make time to sow those seeds. Plan times together when they are your sole focus–then watch God come and join you.

How do you slow down to grandparent? Have you missed teachable moments with your grandkids because of your busyness? We’d love for you to share your experiences with us!

Don’t forget that Grandparents Day is right around the corner. Grandparenting Through Obstacles makes an excellent gift for all those grandparents in your life. You can now find us on!