Grandparents:
A Special Gift of Love and Legacy for Their Grandchildren

Grandparents have a special role in their grandchildren’s lives because they share a special bond of love that isn’t marred by the day to day events that can sometimes stress families. Grandparents delight in their grandchildren and develop a special and unique connection with them. It is no wonder someone developed the bumper sticker that states, “If I’d known grandchildren were so much fun I would have had them first!

Pope Francis knows that grandparents play an essential role in the lives of children. And he knows this by experience thanks to the love of his grandmother Rosa. This is how he explained it in a catechesis dedicated to grandparents in March of 2015: "The words of grandparents contain something special for young people. And they know it. The words that my grandmother gave me in writing the day of my priestly ordination I still carry with me, always, in the breviary. And I read them often and they do me good.”

 


To view a short video of the Pope’s 7 most tender messages to grandparents, click on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhunM57SLow

 

  

Pope Francis sees the role of grandparents as essential to a healthy growth from generation to generation. At World Youth Day in Rio in 2013 he stressed this to the youth. “Grandparents are a treasure. Often old age isn’t pretty, right? There is sickness and all that, but the wisdom our grandparents have is something we must welcome as an inheritance. A society or community that does not value, respect and care for its elderly members doesn’t have a future because it has no memory, it’s lost its memory. The elderly are those who transmit history to us, who transmit doctrine, who transmit the faith and give it to us as an inheritance.”

He also detailed grandparents important role as well: “Grandparents, who have received the blessing to see their children’s children (cf. Ps 128:6), are entrusted with a great responsibility: to transmit their life experience, their family history, the history of a community, of a people; to share wisdom with simplicity, and the faith itself - the most precious heritage! Happy is the family who has grandparents close by! A grandfather is a father twice over and a grandmother is a mother twice over.”


3 Reasons Grandparents Are Important

Posted by Steve Stiffler | Sep 5, 2016

Remember that line from years ago, “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, there’s definitely a nugget of truth there.

Mainly it takes devoted parents. But we’d be foolish not to admit that a larger group of people can have a profound influence on a child. And fathers and mothers would be wise to make the best use of the available other people who can invest in their children—especially grandparents, of course.

Children need many positive influences in their lives, and we grandparents can play a unique role. For one thing, we symbolize family: the porch swing, the old kitchen table, the tool bench, even our clothes. I know one man who proposed to his wife very early one morning in his grandfather’s hay loft. Why did he take her there, of all places? People do all kinds of strange things for love, but I think there was something else working as well. That loft was a place that held deep family connections.

Children look at us grandparents as magical creatures, because we embody the concrete, wonderful past. Our albums and attics are full of treasures. We are like living links between generations. We’ve lived through wars, hard times, cultural changes, as well as their parents’ childhood. I’ve heard it said that when an old person dies, a library burns to the ground. We need to make sure our grandchildren visit that library often while they can.

Grandparents also provide connection points for a family. In our world, so often kids grow up and go away to college and then take jobs in who-knows-where. The pursuit of “success” might take them further and further away from their roots. But we grandparents can help restore what has been lost, and impart to the coming generations the importance of being a family.

So we call around and coordinate schedules so everyone can be together during Christmas, even if we celebrate a week early or a few days late. Grandma cooks the turkey as only she can, and Grandpa sits at the head of the table, savoring the noise of all the aunts, uncles and cousins laughing and carrying on. We help to restore the deep meaning of the word home.

I suppose the only negative here is that we only have so many years to bring these benefits to our grandchildren—and maybe our great-grandchildren. So we need to make the most of every opportunity, wouldn’t you agree?

"This article is from the National Association for Grandparenting - used with permission. For more tips and encouragement for your role as a grandparent, visit grandsmatter.org, and join the Association atgrandsmatter.org/member."

 


"Making the Grandkids Feel Welcome"

used with permission from grandsmatter.org


How Are You Spending Your Inheritance?

Posted by Brock Griffin | June 26, 2016

You’ve probably seen the bumper stickers on the back of a large RV truckin’ down the highway. It reads, “I’m spending my kids’ inheritance.” You may smile when you see it, but it’s really nothing to smile about. Translated, the message being sent is: “I’m living for myself and nobody else, including my kids and grandkids.”

I get increasingly impatient with adults of my generation and beyond who choose to spend their lives and assets on themselves while investing almost nothing in the lives of the next generations. Don’t get me wrong. I am all for some much deserved rest and relaxation, even in an RV if that’s your thing. On the other hand, it’s hard to justify a constant pursuit of frivolous ventures while ignoring what I believe is our responsibility to invest meaningfully in those who will come after us. How are you spending your life for the next generations?

I have to admit that I am guiltier than I like to admit of spending what I have on myself. I need to be reminded what it means to be rich toward others—especially my children and grandchildren. I find it easy to get caught up in my own needs and wants, and forget about the bigger picture. What example am I setting for my grandchildren when it comes to putting aside my own agenda for the sake of others, especially the next generations? At the end of my life, will I look back with regrets because of opportunities I missed with my grandchildren?

Let me put out another challenge for those who have the courage to take it up. Here are the four steps for this challenge:

  1. Take fifteen minutes every day for the next week to make an inventory of all the assets that have been entrusted to you—material and non-material. Non-material assets include things like your skills, talents, gifts, education and knowledge bank, lessons gained from life experiences, personality traits, faith and family.
  2. Choose three assets on your inventory list and reflect or pray about who might be a fitting beneficiary of those assets. It could be a grandchild, a neighbor, or a child/youth at your church.
  3. Now reflect and pray about how best to invest and distribute those three assets as soon as possible as a way of blessing those people.
  4. Repeat the process with all the other assets on your list.

Take this challenge and watch amazing things happen through you and in you.

"This article is from the National Association for Grandparenting - used with permission. For more tips and encouragement for your role as a grandparent, visit grandsmatter.org, and join the Association atgrandsmatter.org/member.


5 Tips for Knowing Your Grandchild

Posted by Ken Candield | August 8, 2016

The first step to helping your grandchildren reach their highest potential is simply for you to get to know them better. And the number one way to get to know them is obvious, but some of you may be missing it.

1. Simply ask questions. Go out for a frozen yogurt and ask about her friends at school, and what they like to do together. Always be ready with an interesting question about what they like, their hopes and dreams, or “what would you do if …” kinds of questions.

2. Whenever you can, spend time on your grandchild’s turf. Go to their soccer practice; sit in on a piano lesson; attend their orchestra concerts; go with them to the swimming pool.

When you’re around the grandkids, you probably hear them talk about who’s doing what: who hit a triple at the softball game, who did a flip off the high dive, who played the Chopin piece perfectly. You can enjoy their stories, but it’s even better to be there and see it all, and it helps you be a better grandparent. The more you know about your grandchildren, the more you’ll be able to help them cultivate their unique gifts and talents.

3. Provide them with plenty of opportunities to discover their interests and talents. Chances are, finances are limited and your grandchild might not get to explore some new passion or interest, whether it’s gymnastics or the violin or whatever. Maybe that’s where you can step in and help, assuming her parents approve.

4. Give feedback, especially when it’s praise. You don’t have to be an expert—just tell them you’re proud of their efforts and offer your positive observations. Believe me, coming from you this will be a big encouragement for them.

5. Listen to your grandchild’s friends, teachers, coaches, and especially their parents. All these people see a side of your grandchild that you don’t, and they’ll give you insights you would have never noticed on your own.

When you get to know your grandkids even better, you’ll gain valuable insights into who they are, how they think, and what motivates them. And you’ll be better prepared to do what’s best for them.

"This article is from the National Association for Grandparenting - used with permission. For more tips and encouragement for your role as a grandparent, visit grandsmatter.org, and join the Association atgrandsmatter.org/member."


Remember with age comes experience and wisdom - you have much to share with your grandchildren and you will both find joy in the process!

 Faith and Grandparents:
Bless Your Grandchildren

 

Grandparents (with the parent’s permission) can have a great influence on their grandchildren’s faith. Here are a few suggestions:

  • → When meals are at your home be sure to say grace before and after meals
  • → Have your grandchildren occasionally join you at Mass at your parish and every now and then attend theirs parish
  • → Tell stories about your faith traditions at holiday times
  • → When possible find stories that include your faith traditions
  • → Join them in night time prayers when you are around at bedtime (or Skype in if you are at a distance!)
  • → Tell them your story in receiving the sacraments; tell them your child’s story and be sure to attend these important moments in their lives
  • → Celebrate their baptism day with a card, special meal, or a reminder that you are praying for them on this very special day
  • → Share your values, morals and beliefs with your grandchildren and let them know why these are important to you
  • → Talk to them about the beauty of God’s creation and share it during walks, vacations, or whenever the moment arises