Blog Article

College Bound Grandkids – Through the Eyes of Their Grandparents

Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications

As our oldest grandchild heads off to college, I find my thoughts wandering back in time. They go to the time his mother, our oldest child, went to college.

Memories spill over one another as the tears cascade down my face.

While she commuted to college, there are still many things that changed drastically. For us – and more importantly for her – going to a state university she came face to face, discussion upon discussion, with information contrary to her strong faith. Additionally, she endured ridicule and avoidance by her more progressive peers. That was over twenty-two years ago. What will her son- our grandson – find today?

My heart hurt for her, and my prayers intensified during those years. Yet, she was home each night for us to encourage and undergird with truth and support. Our grandson will be over six hours away.

Next, my mind moves further back in time to when I went to college. There were dangers then too – the freedom and temptations laid enticingly before me, easy for the taking. This was the first extended time I was away from home, on my own. I remember the struggles – physical, emotional, and intellectual.

As a new believer – saved at age 16– I could have been an easy target. With only a sister and her husband as Christians in my family, my prayer cover seemed limited. However, God answered mightily and faithfully.

My sister gave me a Bible with James 4:7-8 highlighted. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you…” I cherish those verses to this day.

As God was with my daughter (a strong believer) and with me (a weak babe in Christ), I KNOW that He will be with my grandson.

He is the same God who hears and answers prayers! Greater is He that is in my grandson than he that is in the world. I am just so grateful that I can uphold him in prayer daily, sending him messages through text and Marco Polo, and just being available to him to talk as he is able.

I remain steadfast and hopeful that God will indeed finish the work He has started.

You may be concerned about your grandchild going off to college too. This article has some things to remember and some ideas to help.

Sixty-six percent of college freshmen are often homesick or feel lonely. They have left everyone and everything they have ever known, going into the great big world, or should I say the great world of unknowns.

Be Available

Make sure they know you are available to talk or even just listen.

While they need our empathy and a listening ear, they do not need us to figure it out for them. Offer support while they figure it out, expressing confidence in their ability. Resist the urge to jump in with solutions. I know that is hard because we want to fix things. Offer perspective by sharing about a time they got through a hard thing, and how you know they can do it again.

After a time of waiting, you can share a suggestion or two. Encourage them to get involved in activities and clubs on campus, making connections with others. Many colleges have SALT, CRU, and Baptist Student Union ministries.

Recommend becoming familiar with the campus by exploring what it has to offer. Inspire them to be brave and start a conversation with someone new or try a new activity. Assure them they can always call you or text you.

Stay Connected

While this gets harder as they grow older, and especially if they are away at college, seek to stay connected.

Yes, the relationship is changing. Yes, things will probably not be the same again. No more little one sitting in your lap and snuggling up close in the crook of your neck. Yet, it might even become closer and more cherished. Seek to keep the relationship close.

Of course, you can also pray. Our grandson has a monthly calendar where someone’s name from his family, friends, and church community is written in each block. These are people who have committed to praying for him on that day every month for his first year.

My day is the 13th of every month. On the 12th, I sent him a text and asked what I can pray for him. He sent back immediately that he would use his time well and stay focused on the work at hand. When I prayed the next day, I let him know.

There are so many things you can pray for, here are a few.

  • Wisdom
  • Discernment
  • Godly Friendships
  • Physical Health
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Safety
  • Resistance to temptations
  • Learning from trials
  • Being an example of Christ

We – my husband and I – have sent him several Marco Polos. I had a close friend who committed to Snapchat with her granddaughter every week for her first year away at college. They decided on a day and time, and they did not miss a week.

You can send surprise boxes with lots of goodies, and be sure to put in extras for the roommates and hallmates. Check out Encourage U and their boxes that not only contain goodies but spiritual resources as well.

Be sure to send cards with maybe a gift card to a fast food restaurant near the college. Just let them know you are thinking of them!

Remember God is Faithful

Remember this above all. God is the same today as He was in the past. God can be trusted today and into the future.

I spent time with our grandson chatting just days before he would be leaving for college. I shared with him what surprised me during my first year of college, the things I had not thought of or prepared for. It was a time of trying to let him know not to be shocked if something catches him off guard. He is an avid learner, a strong believer, and an easy-going delightful young man who feels ready and able to tackle this new adventure in life.

With God’s help, I know he will succeed. I will do my part as a grandparent to uphold and support him.

1 thought on “College Bound Grandkids – Through the Eyes of Their Grandparents”

  1. I’ve been feeling sorry for myself as I have three young grandchildren who only live a short distance away and I have them so very often. God gave me this resource to set my mind straight! I am privileged and have a an important job to do by being an example and encouraging my grandchildren in their faith. Thank you Lord for giving me this resource.

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