The Grandparent Factor
What role do your parents play in raising your kids? What role do you want them to have?
My situation is very unique, my parents are both healthy, active and very alive and involved in our family. My mom and dad, now in their seventies, live in our lower level and play a vital role in our home. We are blessed to have them so close and so engaged with our three teenagers. Today's blog is meant to remind us all of the significant role our parents can play in raising our children... if we let them.
My in-laws live in Memphis, TN and visit often, and we make the effort to bring our family to them several times each year. In the summer, we try to make sure one or more of our kids can spend a week with them for a little “Nona and Papa” time.
My wife and I feel that our kids need to know their grandparents, to see the love in their lives and to learn from them about the values and beliefs of a generation before. We are fortunate that both sets of grandparents in family share our faith and actively seek to model their lives for our kids. It’s a blessing for us all. Regardless of the relationship you may or may not have with your parents, maybe it's time to make a visit. For everyone’s sake.
This summer, we all have the option to fill our schedules with trips and vacations and summer camps, and we should. But in the midst of the excitement of planning, please seriously consider time with your own parents as a vital part of their development and education. Our parents have such valuable and wise insight into our lives, they provide a huge piece of the family puzzle and can provide an essential “anchor” for our kids to base their identities and values and beliefs in.
So much of our lives are spent in planning ahead that we can easily miss the value and strength of remembering our past. Intentionally planning to spend time with our extended families is a great way to inspire and encourage and involve your family completely in the amazing joy of raising your kids.
I know, I know… if we actually take that step, we risk the frustration and guilt of ignoring our parents un-solicited advice, or the embarrassment of your own kids acting out or being disrespectful, but the honoring of those before us is a lifestyle we need to cherish and model and pass on. After all… it won’t be long, until it’s you and me we’re talking about… right ?
So, please take a minute and seriously consider if it's time for you and your kids to reconnect with the grandparents this summer, and help keep your families on the road and in between the lines, old school style.