Each year provides new opportunities for grandparents like you to pass on your faith to your grandkids. Here are five key areas to consider!
1. Plan for School Breaks or Vacations
Make plans for a special day with the grandkids when you know they are available. Check their school calendars online or ask for a printed copy of their school calendars, and identify days or weeks when they have time off. These could become times you can spend together!
A bonus is that this may also help give their parents some much-needed childcare help. Speak with their parents and prepare ahead of time for a day or weekend of fun. Consider ways to build excitement as your grandchildren anticipate this special time with you. Maybe send clues as to what you will be doing or even an item that they will need. You could even consider making it a tradition.
This is especially an important one to consider if your grandchildren live at a distance. Planning and getting dates on your calendar as well as theirs will help prevent conflicts. It is good to make room and prepare for these special times that are less frequent when your grandchildren are not right around the corner.
A great summer activity to consider is going to a grandparenting camp. More Christian camps around the country are offering this option. It is a great way to spend time with your grandchildren building not only memories but their relationship to you and to God.
2. Bring Them to Church
Ask your church leadership about children’s ministry events for the upcoming year. Take note of those times so you can invite your grandchildren to your church and share with them your faith and community. If your grandchildren already go together with you to church, consider attending these child/teen special events with them.
If your grandchildren are at a distance, be sure to ask them about events they are attending at their church. If you have a word for the year, find ways to share what you are learning with your grandkids. If there is a scripture passage you are trying to memorize this year, challenge the grandkids to memorize it with you.
The 2024 Grandparenting Planner has verses for each month. What a great place to start – they go along with the month’s theme. Find a way to share it with your grandkids each month by text, FaceTime, or Marco Polo.
3. Pray Without Ceasing
Remember to pray specifically and purposefully for each of your grandchildren. It is one of the best things we can do for them, whether they live near or far.
You can use your 2024 Grandparenting Planner to write specific prayer requests each month as a reminder to yourself to pray for your grandkids throughout the year. Consider when they might have finals and exams at school, pray for their friends and parents, and think about any relationship challenges or milestones coming up. Let your grandkids know you are praying for them, even including the prayer.
Don’t forget to record the results of your prayers as you watch God move in their lives. Record additional reasons to praise God as well. The planner can become a record of how God worked in your family’s lives.
4. Start Saving
If you can, invest in a savings account or college fund for your grandchild and commit to contributing throughout the year. Some grandparents have even started mission trip funds for each of their grandchildren. They’ve seen the importance of going on a mission trip and want each of their grandkids to experience this impactful event.
Maybe it’s a monthly gift or has set parameters around it like a reward for school performance. However you set it up, planning can help you budget and even teach them about the importance of financial literacy. The reason for the savings account will also determine when you let them know it is available.
5. One-on-One Activities
Carve out time to spend with each grandchild individually throughout the year. Are you drawing a blank on how to connect? Remember, your presence and attention are the most important pieces, but having some activities ready can help you maximize your time together. Check out our Let’s Talk card sets for conversation starters or the 2024 Grandparenting Planner for monthly activities.
The activities do not need to be expensive or time-consuming. Think about each grandchild – what do they like to do? How old are they? If young, playing a game, racing cars, or reading a book would be a great one-on-one activity. As they get older, cooking in the kitchen or working in the wood shop or garage may be just what they desire. College-age grandchildren may want to go out for coffee and dessert or even have you visit their college!
Listen to what your grandchildren request and observe how they spend their time, then you can capitalize on an activity that incorporates these things.
Above all, enjoy your grandchildren this new year. Be available to them.
May God give you blessed opportunities this year to build your relationship with your grandkids, and may your legacy be strengthened.