Grandparenting Through Obstacles Wins a “Book of the Year” Award from CSPA!

CSPBOTYA_oval_logo Compressed  You did it!  A big hearty Thank You! to everyone who took the time to go over to the web site of the Christian Small Publishers Association and voted for Grandparenting Through Obstacles.

This is Dianne writing today.  Christian Small Publishers Association has announced the winners of their 2013 Book of the Year awards and Grandparenting Through Obstacles won in the “Family/Relationships” category!

Renee and I are thrilled!  Needless to say, our publisher, Pix-N-Pens Publishing, is also thrilled.  This is the first Book of the Year award from Christian Small Publishers Association for the publisher as far as I know. We send our sincere thanks to our publisher, Tracy Ruckman, for all she has done (and is continuing to do… More about that next!) to make our book a success.

So we thank you very much.  An award like this provides one more way to make our book known and so helps us get it onto the radar scope of those who need it and those whom it can help.

It also helps make known those who contributed to the book, including Cavin Harper who wrote our foreword and all our twenty contributors.  They made this book.  We couldn’t have done it without them.

One more thing: We have too much good news to share in one post! We have some more very exciting and important news coming about Grandparenting Through Obstacles and we really need your help…again. I’ll get the information together and share in another post. Please don’t miss it!

(Oh, okay.  If you simply have to have a hint… We need your help to go to St. Louis to promote Grandparenting Through Obstacles.)

You made this “Book of the Year” award from Christian Small Publishers Association possible by voting and by praying. We thank you again. I believe Heaven will be different because of you.


Are You a Helicopter Grandparent?

Today we’d like to share with you a wonderful post from Cavin Harper at Christian Grandparenting Network. If you haven’t checked out The CGN website yet, we encourage you to do so. It is filled with resources, insightful articles, and podcasts from Cavin’s “Not on My Watch” weekly radio program–all designed to help you become a better and more intentional grandparent.

In this article, Cavin shares on the downsides of being a “helicopter grandparent.”

Are You a Helicopter Grandparent?

Joyce likes to hover. She hovers over her daughter by examining and critiquing everything she does. When her grandson was born she hovered—“That’s not the right way. Let me show how to do it, dear.” When the child was sick or had a runny nose, she would drop by with the recommended remedies and makes sure they were probably administered. At every stage of development, Joyce was there with her advice and ‘words of encouragement’, which translated mean, “Let me show you how to do it.” Her daughter feels like she is still treated like a little girl. Even her grandson, now eight, feels smothered by Grandma’s attention.

Hovering grandparents (or parents) are like a helicopter always looking over another’s shoulders and beating them with the constant battering of wind and chatter. I have talked with many parents, especially mothers, who resent the constant ‘hovering’ of a mother or mother-in-law. Men are not exempt from the hovering offense either. Men do like to ‘fix’ things, after all.

Wise grandparents understand their boundaries and even discuss them with their adult children to make sure that they are not violating those boundaries. Our goal as grandparents is to build up and enable our adult children to be the best parents possible. Interference and giving advice are not the approaches that will help them succeed as parents. There are times when it is necessary to give advice, but mostly it should be given only when asked.

Wise grandparents trust their adult children to make mistakes and learn. More importantly, they trust God to protect and guide. They know when to step in and when to stay out. Wisdom builds up. Hovering foolishly tears down. May God grant you wisdom so that you can land that helicopter and do some groundwork of building solid foundations for a strong home.


In writing Grandparenting Through Obstacles, we quickly discovered that the issue of establishing boundaries and balance between parents and grandparents was a major concern of many grandparents. They’re never quite sure if they’re doing too much or not enough, or if they should even dare ask.

Because of this, we decided to devote one-fourth of the book to “Partnering with Parents.” In this section readers will learn of other grandparents who have struggled with the issues of boundaries and balance and how they successfully navigated through its troubled waters. We hope you will check it out for some creative ideas that may help you or someone you know.

Thank you to Cavin Harper for sharing his insights on helicopter grandparenting! You can check out his original article on this topic on the CGN blog.

Meet Cavin Harper!

I know we typically post interviews on Thursdays, but I wanted to conduct a special interview today with Cavin Harper, Founder of the Christian Grandparenting Network, based in Colorado Springs. Cavin recently interviewed me and Dianne on his new radio program, “Not on My Watch.” The program aired this past Sunday and will be available on the Christian Grandparenting Network website later today.  We hope you will take a listen! In the meantime, I’d like to have Cavin share about his organization and passion for helping grandparents.

GTO: Welcome to our GTO blog! Cavin, you were asked to write the foreword for Grandparenting Through Obstacles. What in particular attracted you to this project?

Cavin: The stories from grandparents who have or are in the process of working through the major obstacles facing them and other grandparents today. I like that these are real-life stories; not theoretical jargon.

GTO:  That’s what attracted us to the project too! We knew a lot of grandparents with incredible stories to share. You’re the Founder and Executive Director of the Christian Grandparenting Network, which is a national organization for grandparents. When did you start CGN, and what prompted you to do so?

Cavin: I started CGN (originally called ElderQuest) in 1998 to help those approaching “retirement” years re-evaluate what retirement really means. When my first grandchild was born, I knew God wanted me to challenge this generation to live for the next to make sure they grew up knowing the Lord. Over time I felt God wanted us to narrow our ministry’s focus to grandparents—to mobilize them to intentionally represent Christ to the next generations.

GTO: Grandparenting Through Obstacles focuses on the various challenges Christian grandparents may face when trying to impart their faith to their grandkids. What do you believe are the biggest challenges for Christian grandparents today?

Cavin: In many ways it’s the Baby Boomer grandparents themselves (which I am) who tend to be self-absorbed, focusing on their own agendas and goals. Too often we fail to recognize the things we do that alienate our grandchildren or adult children. Our job is to be authentic and compassionate without being judgmental in a world that is vastly different from the one we grew up in. We’re also challenged to cultivate intentional, inter-generational relationships. We’re in a unique position to build the bridges that impact the culture and reconnect the generations according to God’s design.

GTO: That’s an interesting perspective, and quite a challenge you throw out to Christian grandparents. How does CGN help today’s grandparents meet these challenges?

Cavin: We’re committed to building a movement of grandparents for Christ who are resolved to radically engage the next generations with truth, righteousness, and authentic faith. We aim to provide resources and opportunities to help these grandparents, and we work to create settings where grandparents and their grandchildren of all ages may grow, serve, and worship together.  Some of the ways we do this include:

GrandCamps—an opportunity for grandparents to spend five days with their grandkids in an intensive time of relationship building, skill development, and spiritual formation

GrandAdventures—a variety of inter-generational events focused on serving others

G@P Groups and Grandparents’ Day of Prayer—gathering grandparents to worship and pray together

“Not on My Watch” Radio Program—a weekly broadcast to encourage, challenge, and motivate grandparents and parents to reach the next generation, often through the amazing stories and resources God has made available to us

Website—we use our website and other social media to help connect grandparents to the network of tools and people available to help them in their journey with their grandkids

Thank you, Cavin, for sharing your passion and the mechanisms you’ve developed to help Christian grandparents pass along their faith. I encourage you to check out CGN and all the resources it provides. While you’re there, don’t forget to download the September 2, 2012 podcast from “Not on My Watch,” where you’ll hear me and Dianne discuss Grandparenting Through Obstacles.