Who doesn’t want to have the best possible relationship with their grandchildren? Most grandparents desperately want their grandchildren to like them and to want to spend time with them. Intentional grandparents, however, want even more… they want their grandkids to feel that being around grandma and grandpa is a safe place to ask hard questions without judgment, and they want to have a spiritual impact in their lives.
Here are seven gold nuggets (practical activities) you can do with your grandchildren, regardless of age, that will help you cultivate a relationship of trust and authenticity. The earlier you start putting these into practice with your grandchildren, the greater the impact, If your grandkids are older, it is never too late to start.
These activities, taken by themselves, are useful for any relationship, but for grandparents who want to be intentional Gospel focused grandparents, these will lay the groundwork for making a profound influence in their lives for Christ and the Gospel.
1. EAT TOGETHER: One of the most tragic consequences of the cultural lies demanding our attention and attraction all the time is the disintegration of family meals together. Grandparents can recapture the power of the family table with their grandchildren when they are with them. The dinner table is a powerful place to do life together and be open with one another, and not just at the holidays. Hold fast to this opportunity.
2. ENGAGE REGULARLY: I cannot think of a better way to engage with your grandchildren than through conversations with them about life. I’m not talking about heavy theological discussions, but learning to ask good questions that open doors of opportunity to talk about things below the surface. Here are few questions to start the conversation:
- What do you think about… ?
- Why do you think that?
- What do you think God thinks? Why?
- What if what you think is wrong? Would you want to know?
- What is your favorite…. (color, pet, music, place, etc.? Why?
3. PLAN A FUN EVENT TOGETHER: Nothing builds strong relationships better than spending time together and doing something fun and meaningful. This is one of the reasons we started GrandCamps—a fun faith adventure where you spend significant, quality time bonding together and cultivating a legacy of faith. Check out our web site for more information. Here are a couple of other ideas:
- Take a road trip with your grandchildren
- Sign up for a mission project with your grandchildren
4. TURN IT OFF! – CHALLENGE TO A MEDIA FAST: When your grandchildren come to visit or you are watching them for extended periods of time, create periods of time when you establish a tech fast. Today’s technology that fills the lives of our children with screen time is rapidly destroying relationships of all kinds. Tell your grandkids you’re going to do a experiment with them by turning it all off. But replace the screen time with some fun and interactive face. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Game night
- Craft time
- Cooking or baking time
- Bike ride
5. LAUGH TOGETHER! Create an atmosphere filled with laughter. Tell funny stories, roll around with younger ones on the floor (if you’re able), see who can make the funniest face, listen to some good Christian comedians.
6. PRAY TOGETHER: Teach your grandchildren to pray. Pray for them, but also pray with them. Meal times are great, but there are many other opportunities to stop and pray with your grandchildren reminding them of God’s presence and goodness.
7. SPEAK BLESSING: I don’t believe there is a more powerful tool for building strong relationships with your children and grandchildren than speaking blessing into their lives. If you would like some help to do a spoken blessing, go to our web site and download your free Create a Legacy of Blessing packet. A good hug and telling them how precious they are to you, and to God, is a powerful way to speak bless into their life.
GRANDPAUSE: You will invest your life in something, or you will throw it away on nothing. –Haddon Robinson