Thursday, July 30, 2020

Experience - Your Experience as a Grandparent Matters

When we were the parents, we were able to set rules - such as, our family goes to church. This is because we were the parents. But, when we become the grandparents, things change. We are no longer able to tell our grown children what we do as a family. We are not able to tell our grandchildren what they will do (other than when they are at our home). Our relationship with our grown children and grandchildren changes when they become the parents and we become the grandparents. 

If your grown children are walking with God, you are likely on the same page with them when it comes to raising their children/ your grandchildren. But, if they are not walking with God, there may be challenges to your relationship if you do not show respect for their position as parent.

I have heard people (typically people who are parents and not yet grandparents or people who have grown children who walk with God) tell grandparents - particularly if they have grown children who are not walking with God - they need to "put it on the line" and be "up-front" with their grown children by telling them to walk with God and they need to raise their children to do the same. Typically the result of following this poor advice is a serious break in relationship - and even a separating of your family. The price is high if you follow this horrible advice.

We grandparents understand - or need to understand - the difference between being parent and grandparent. We need to respect our grown children's position as parents. It is also essential for us to listen to people who are grandparents and who understand these dynamics - people who have experience as grandparents - or we could end up paying a huge price for getting these things wrong.

We grandparents have been around for "awhile" - after all, we are grandparents! But while there were a few of us who have been talking about, encouraging, and focused upon equipping grandparents to hand down the faith (I have been doing this on my other blog - grandma's cookie jar - since 2011), it was only in the past five years when the idea of being a grandparent who hands down the faith on purpose really started to get some attention. Now there are more people writing about this, speaking about this, and encouraging grandparents to hand down the faith in an intentional, purposeful, consistent way. This is a positive thing.

But, as with many things, when something begins to get "traction" and more people talk about it, you may find some of the people doing this are not speaking from experience - when it comes to being a grandparent, experience absolutely matters. It is very different, vastly different to hand down the faith as a grandparent than it is to do so as a parent. There are things parents are able to do, which grandparents absolutely not only may not do, but must not do. It is essential for us to keep this in mind as we look at the information given to us about handing down the faith. Some of the information will be excellent - other ideas put you in danger of damaging your relationship with your grown children and cutting you off from your grandchildren.

So, when you think about resources and speakers for grandparents please be certain they are solidly grounded in God's Word. Then confirm they actually are grandparents. Finally it is helpful to know if they have experienced some of the same challenges so many grandparents are with grown children who do not currently walk with God. Experience matters. 

#grandmas #handingdownthefaith #itmatterswhatwedo #grandparentingonpurpose

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