My wonderful 78-year-old parents arrived at my house in Alaska yesterday after driving for 6 days up the Al-Can. It was great to see them and talk to them face to face after almost a 16 month absence. My boys were super excited to see them. My boys have had the wonderful opportunity to see all of their grandparents this summer. This has me reflecting a little about what it takes to be a great grandparent from a father’s perspective.
1. Bring gifts. Size and cost do not matter. My kids just want to know that their grandparents have been thinking about them.
2. Listen to them. Nothing makes young boys feel more loved than a grandparent taking the time to listen to their stories no matter how trivial.
3. Ask questions about their life. The boys want to share their life even the little things.
4. Watch them do something. No matter what a kid likes to do, he enjoys having a grandparent watch him or her. This can be a sport, a dance, a hobby or any random activity. Your attention is more important than the activity.
5. Join them in the fun (if you can). It creates a wonderful memory when a grandparent does something with their grandchildren.
6. Give them attention. I once had a conversation with a grandparent about his grandsons. He told me that he asked them why they liked grandpa so much. The youngest one spoke up and said “because you have time for us!” [That means, “Put the phone or electronic device down!”]
These are nothing profound or necessarily biblical. They are just my random observations that might help you to become a better grandparent. I know one day I hope to be the best!