It is very important; absolutely essential, for us as grandparents to remember something only you can do that is vitally important for your grandchildren. What is this “absolutely essential … vitally important thing”? It is to give your grandchildren your attention.
I can not over-emphasize how important it is for us to give our attention to our grandchildren. When they want to talk to us or ask us something, we need to put down what we are doing (especially if it is using our smart phones, computers, tablets, etc) and look them in the eye while they tell us whatever it is they want to tell us.
Our grandchildren need to know we pay attention to them. They need to experience how we listen to them, because when we do, we are showing them how much we love them.
Yes, it is entirely possible the things they have to say will not be “earth-shattering”, but if it is important to them, it has to be important to us. If we do not listen to them, really pay attention and listen, they will find others who will and it is possible these “other” persons will not be people who will influence them as we want them to be influenced.
While we want our grandchildren to observe good manners and not interrupt, they also need to know we will listen to them. We value what they have to say. We want to hear the things which are important to them. We love them.
And, remember, God sets the absolutely perfect example for us of what it means to give someone you love your attention, because He promises He will always hear, listen to and answer our prayers! He wants us to talk to Him! He shows His love and one way He does this is by listening to us.
So, pay attention to your grandchildren. Listen to them. Put down your “tech” and look them in the eyes when they have something they want to tell you or ask you. Only you can give them your attention . . . and when you do, they will experience your love in ways they will remember!
Lynda has three sweet rascal grandsons who make her heart happy! She is the author of Deeper In 4 Grandparents & Parents, Too! Praying the Scriptures for the Children You Love, It Is Impossible to Spoil Grandchildren and Science, the Bible & Fun – a curriculum with 52 weeks of Bible learning and fun for grandparents and grandchildren. She also writes the blog, grandma’s cookie jar. Lynda is a Senior Writer and Editor for the Legacy Coalition.