Blog Article

Developing Love and Joy in Your Grandchildren

Written by Dr. Joannie DeBrito, Family Support Specialist

Are you starting to thaw from the winter cold? Do you see more sunshine these days? Can you hear the birds singing in the morning and smell the flowers that are beginning to sprout in your garden?

It’s Springtime, grandparents, and it’s time to embrace all of the things you cherish about this season of the year and share your excitement with your grandchildren.

This is the first of a four-part series of blogs that will share how to encourage the development of the fruits of the spirit in your grandchildren and we’ll start here with LOVE AND JOY.

I confess that I love the cooler, darker days of the Fall and Winter as I can slow down and enjoy the flavors of those seasons and pour into playing music on the piano and violin, reading, cooking, and doing lots of other indoor activities (and being out in the snow which I can never seem to get enough of) that I love.

But I also begin to tire of that right around mid-March and feel invigorated when I start to see things greening up around me.

Research from a variety of sources confirms that children and teens are spending far too much time indoors these days, tethered to their phones and other devices. This is detrimental to their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health.

Spring is a great time to encourage your grandchildren to enjoy the outdoors, get some good exercise, and take time to notice the wonders of nature all around us.

Let your beloved grandchildren learn from your enthusiasm by sharing with them what you love about this season of the year.

Ideas for Younger Ages

For younger children, take a walk and point out the evidence of God’s creations all around them: new buds on trees, flowers starting to pop out of the ground, butterflies in the air, and baby bunnies hopping about. Take a walk in the evening and remind them that not so long ago it would have been too dark to walk at that time.

Tell them that God created the things of nature to provide for us and for our enjoyment. If you don’t live near your grandchildren, talk with them online and share photos of what I have mentioned above.

Challenge them to get outside, take some pictures, and share their favorite moments with you online at a later date.

Ideas for Elementary Ages

As kids get older, share stories of your favorite memories of this time of the year and what you love the most about the Springtime. Show them your joy during an afternoon rainstorm or when you go hiking through a field of wildflowers.

Go for a walk- or join them virtually while they are walking- and ask them how they feel when they are outside and what activities bring them joy. Teach them the importance of praising God for the things we love that create a joyful spirit. Teach them Psalms or praise songs.

If you love to cook, get them busy helping you plan a picnic and finding recipes that use summer fruits and vegetables. You can prepare dishes together if you live near them or teach them to prepare the food via a live video chat.

Discuss the fact that eating healthy foods is one way to honor God and care for the bodies that he gave us.

Ideas for Preteen/Teen Ages

Preteens and teens love adventures. You might want to get them involved in planning a day trip with you or with some friends, during which they will take pictures or videos to keep track of all of the evidence of God in the world around them.

If they love music or art, encourage them to write a song or paint a picture. Encourage athletic kids to actively participate in sports and other active events and to recognize and thank God for the healthy body and athletic talent God has given them.

If you are spending time with them this Spring, expose them to a sport you love and let them see your joy.

Conclusion

You get the idea. Expose your grandchildren to the many gifts that God gives us as days begin to get warmer and the dark of night comes later each day.

This is such a great time to cultivate a heart of gratitude in them and a good time for you to thank God for the blessings of Spring!

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