My granddaughter Lilly is 2 years old and the first grandchild in the family. There are literally dozens of pictures of her at our house, some prominently displayed in an 8 by 10 form on the refrigerator. Her shining countenance is unmistakable. Rarely does she not smile when photographed, a happy child to say the least. I love her very much.
Any grandparent of either gender that is worth their salt will be, in the child’s eyes, a superhero. Therefore I have developed 5 basic rules that must be applied in order to achieve Super Grandpa status, as I have. These will work just as well for those of you of the feminine gland.
1. Be willing to play.
Children have an abundance of energy, that is well known, but how do you keep up? I did not invent it, but I have perfected the “”Double handed Peek-A-Boo” technique. This involves holding both hands in front of your face, palms out, while peeking, (showing eyes only) out from the top, sides and bottom in a random fashion. This will capture the delight of your grandbaby, and can be amplified with sound effects and various “peeking” intervals. This can easily be done sitting for extended periods.
There are occasions when you will have the energy, the will, and the chance to “chase” your grandbaby. This sends the little one screeching through the house in a toddlers best run in an attempt to “lose” you. Of course there is no escape, and the child is subjected to tickles and kisses like there’s no tomorrow.
2. Be willing to pay.
Toys are a child’s work tools. They learn about basic physics during play. Toy stores both bricks-and-mortar and online provide ample educational opportunities as well as just-plain-fun toys. It would seem that the spending limit is set only by your account balance, (this I know from experience). A thought out toy can work wonders, but don’t think too much. Use your heart.
Every self-respecting grandparent is drawn to the clothing department of any store or website they are near. Children grow so fast, and their vestments are quickly relegated to hand-me-downs in waiting. Not to mention the well-known fact that grandkids must have the “cutest” outfits available. Is your grandbaby any different?
3. Be willing to say.
Grandparents have a lot of wisdom to impart on the next generation. Young grandchildren will look forward to hearing from you and need to hear from you. Try not to be boring. Any child will listen more intently if said conversation takes place over an ice cream cone, or, as Lilly would say, “Eye keem.”
Children naturally believe in magic. It falls on us grandparents to provide tales of magical lands and limitless possibilities. These kiddos will have their imagination tainted by the world too soon as it is. Let us give them a firm foundation for an open mind.
4. Be willing to stay.
We must be there for our grandkids. Not “be there” as in an insincere metaphorical exit line, but be willing to jump in the car at any hour to support our grandbabies in whatever crisis they are facing. These precious souls need us as a link to a more stable setting. This will allow them to more objectively solve problems, a bonus at any age.
5. Be willing to pray.
This world we’re in grows more dangerous every day. Terrorism, nuclear proliferation, school shootings are blasted across our tv screens continuously. We, as grandparents, must remember who is really in control, and be on a first name basis with Him. Lift up your family members daily, as we do not know what the future holds, and have only our Lord to guide us. But what else do we need?
I am a 45 year old man, married to an beautiful, wonderful woman, together we have 7 children, (3 still st home), and 1 grandchild. I work as a Registered Respiratory Therapist, and am pursuing my passion; writing. Aahdvok.com, Family Style Shopping!