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WASHINGTON: It’s absolutely wonderful to be finally freed up from the pandemic isolation chamber that families and especially grandparents have been subjected to. Summer outings and visits are blossoming like gardens of joyful memories waiting to be enjoyed all over America. This is also the best time for grandparents to use their wonderful experience as spiritual reinforcement to assist parents. Grandparents can help create caring responsible grandkids with ‘Grandkids and Me’ time.
Check out these tips and see if you agree!
Deuteronomy 4:9: “Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
It may have been a little while since you were able to enjoy or take part in activities with your family. Now it is time to consider planning activities that reinforce a valuable spiritual life-building goal. Of course, the age of your grandchildren will guide what you plan. As well as the age of Grandma and Grandpa. All activities must be considered with everyone’s health and wellbeing in mind.
Remember if you are infused with lots of spirit and excitement so will your grandchildren.
While most parents may allow their kids to pre-occupy their summer day with tablets, smartphones, laptops, or streamed movies, you should give those devices a big timeout when your grandkids step through your door. This is an opportunity to reinforce caring for others in need.
Or it can be your opportunity to share with them your time and place in their history, as well as your ancestors before you.
Summertime excursion can include a few ‘Grandkids and Me’ time events where the lessons of Christ demonstrate the spirit of giving from the heart. Can you imagine if Jesus would have stayed in his carpentry shop and asked the medically afflicted, spiritually challenged, and morally bankrupt to visit him in his carpentry side office during visiting hours?
There would have been no miracles and most importantly there would be no Christianity
1 John 3:18 “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Think about your time with your grandkids as a potential life-changing summer adventure and not as a chore.
Plan activities that allow for the grandchild to invest their spiritual and physical time in a manner that is both productive and rewarding. This can be done by mowing lawns for the elderly, disabled, and single moms. Helping to deliver Meals on Wheels or work putting cans on the shelf at the local food bank. (Nine-Year-Old Boy Mows Lawns For Seniors, Disabled People And Veterans For Free—Thanks Jesse)
Or visiting a homeless shelter for children and women and bring games to play, coloring books, crayons. Give mom a break and meet someone new.
Sharing is caring so invite them to help you with fun things like shopping, visiting parks, ice cream parlors and movies on a hot summer afternoon.
They can also assist a homebound senior friend who has medical challenges with cooking or cleaning. Remember, the more real-world experiences you can share with your grandkids, the more empathy they will develop and the more positive bonding time you’ll have.
Let’s get started with considering some creative as well as enjoyable activities that can be spiritually building or reinforcing lifetime traits in your grandkids.
‘Grandkids Me Time’ Outdoor Tips
- Plan Shopping errands with your grandkids and include one of your senior friends and their grandkids.Children learn patience by practicing it with others. As they spend time helping you and your friend with shopping grandchildren learn the rewarding feeling of team helping. This also reinforces their own self-worth as well. Bonus points all around!
- Visit your local community center that serves a diverse cultural background, especially if it’s senior game day. Let your grandkids take part in assisting some of the other seniors who are playing board or card games. Plan a storytime activity in advance of your visit so that seniors can share some of their fun memories where they made a difference in the lives of others.
- Positive life stories can be a fun summer pastimeDo you have an ancestry account where you are tracking your genealogy? Or old photo albums that have long been on the shelf. Choose an ancestor and then take your kids on an adventure to find out everything they can about a great-great-great grandparent. This can be done not only by visiting the local library but also by planning trips to visit places their ancestors lived.It is also a great way for your grandchild to learn to appreciate others who are outside of the family ethnic or even cultural circle. The experience will improve their listening skills too.
- Don’t forget your churches’ summer crafts and art events.There are always activities that grandkids can not only take part in with you. Involve them in the service aspect as well, by letting them assist in the preparation of food or outdoor activities.
- Visit a neighborhood homeless shelter for families and children.Invite your grandkids to bring some of their used toys and clothes to donate. this can be a rewarding experience. Also consider offering to help in a scheduled reading hour for the young kids or plan a tutoring session for the older children that they can be a part of.
- Don’t forget that you can also help animals in need by volunteering at a local shelter.
For relaxing fun, neighborhood playgrounds can be just as exciting for grandparents and your grandkids. Share time on the swings, bike riding, ring tosses or even go on a long scenic walk. When you are walking in the park or your neighborhood, take along a garbage bag and pick up trash along the way.
Psalm 71:18 “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”
Of course, you don’t have to create all of your opportunities for Grandkid Me Time outdoors. According to the Fuller Institute, there are a number of ways for grandparents and grandkids to create indoor caring and sharing opportunities.
Here are some wondering tips to consider for building memories.
“Plan a “Grand Camp” indoors with your grandkids either at your house or at theirs. “Do things together that they’d do at camp—crafts, sports, singing, cooking, treasure hunts, etc.” This could last one day or several days if they are spending the week.
Also, cooking can be an adventure so get out the pot and pans and plan an indoor or backyard picnic, Cook with your grandchildren. Play loud music from your generation and theirs. Join in and sing and even dance together.
In the end, grandparents are the key to helping to create or reinforce caring traits for responsible grandkids.
The Bible gives parents and grandparents responsibility for reinforcing faith, caring, and salvation for future generations. So, plan ahead of time and use your own spiritual experience as a Biblical guide to design your “Grandkids Me Time” events.
Don’t forget to allow for a degree of input from your kids and your grandkids. Be flexible, and go have some fun!
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About the authors:
Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975. He has been published in the “New York Times,” and has written for the “Detroit News,” “Michigan Chronicle,” “GOPUSA,” “Soul Source” and “Writers Digest” magazines. In addition to the Ann Arbor and Cleveland “Examiner,” “Free Patriot,” “Conservatives4 Palin” and “Positively Republican.” The former daily host of The Kevin Fobbs Show on conservative News Talk WDTK – 1400 AM in Detroit, he is also a published author. His Christian children’s book, “Is There a Lion in My Kitchen,” hit bookstores in 2014.
California PolitiChick Susan Swift Arnall is a lawyer, wife, and conservative mother of seven children. Since her impassioned call into Rush Limbaugh’s radio program in 2009, Susan has given political commentary on radio and blogs and was invited in 2010 by Andrew Breitbart to write for his young website Big Journalism. She has written over 60 published articles for Breitbart.