Sunday Afternoon Thoughts for Grandparents

Posted on: April 17th, 2011 by Kay Swatkowski

Our Carefully Chosen Words are a Gift to Our Grandchildren

Remember when young people, even children, had an “I can’t trust adults” attitude that pervaded every interaction.  It was a difficult time as adolescents and young adults turned their backs on the people who loved them, the same adults who could  have provided guidance and support.

It was a painful time for the kids who “believed” a lie —no one over 35 can be trusted.

It was a confusing time as anyone over 35  “believed” the lie that kids weren’t not only uninterested in truth or counsel but also were rejecting of the relationship that parents and grandparents were offering.

These adults lived in fear of angering the people they loved most.

Here is a news flash: Those days are over. Children want meaningful relationships with their parents and grandparents.

It is taking a bit of time to convince ourselves of this.  It is taking even longer to know how to approach these young people because of the caution tape we have strung around our hearts.

For the next few blogs, would you like to take a look at some new ways of communicating with kids?  These thoughts and opinions are just that – thoughts and opinions.  We welcome you  to spend time along with God  thinking them through, mulling them over and asking God what parts apply to your relationship with your grandchildren.

We know He will lead.

We equally welcome your comments where you feel we could use some adjustment in our attitudes.  We are here to learn from God as well.

So, here we go:

The Right Words, Not More Words

Taking a call from a mother saddened by her child’s negativity towards church, the radio talk show host’s suggestions were clearly “the right words spoken at the right time,” not only for the distressed caller but for me.

Yes, I understood that questioning parental faith and values is part of adolescent development. And, of course, I recognized that parents must exercise patience as children walk their own spiritual journey. But, none of that prevented me from serving up reheated and futile lectures in response as our adolescents asked, “Why do WE have to go to church all the time?”

Bent over the ironing board, I did not look up and surprisingly did not launch into a lecture the afternoon one of our girls hurled the question one more time, “Mom, why do we have to go to church all the time?”

Gratefully, I recalled the talk show host’s wise words and was prepared with a brief but meaningful response that came directly from my heart.

“We go to church because it is faith that gets us through the hard times.”

The writer of Proverbs tells us that the “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.” (Proverbs 29:15 NIV)  We honor our children when we customize our words to fit their real needs. For our daughter, this was the right word at the right time and at that moment satisfied.

When we refuse the canned answers of parenthood and try to zero in on the emotion behind the request, we not only bring greater satisfaction but  also reveal ourselves as three dimensional beings capable and longing for an honest and open relationship.

Children want to hear the right word at the right time, not more words.

When young, our children turn to parents and grandpareants  with their problems and questions, but time and again the wisdom we have to share is lost and muddled by our many words or predictable responses. Tragically, they may begin to look for answers elsewhere.

Children are grateful for carefully chosen words of truth that are clear, memorable, laced with appropriate emotion and make sense.

The writer of Proverbs ached to share life giving insight with his son.  His collection of advice and guidance, written in short, powerful and memorable language continues to impact lives.

Who can forget the beautiful words, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”?

I cannot imagine how our children would have survived the death of our twenty five year old son-in-law, job stress, broken relationships, miscarriages, financial challenges, loss of grandparents, chronic pain or major illness without the assurance that God cares and loves.

The words I spoke to my daughter that day were true

It is faith in a caring and loving God that gets us through the hard times


Take some time today or  over the next few days to get alone with God and reflect our your “grandparent” communication style.  What canned phrases do you hear yourself repeating?  How can you take those truths and share from your heart–your experience – in a way that bonds you to your grandchild and gives them hope for the future.

Remember: The right words at the right time are a gift to your grandchildren.

Are you looking for more guidance on talking to grandkids, please visit our blog again on Thursday for a continuation of how to have healthy family conversations.

Jesus, You always had the right words at the right time.  What you said found a deep place in the heart of your listeners.  Jesus, makes us honest, tender, sensitive and wise like You.  Teach us to guard our words, monitor our agendas, and find words that bring healing and grace to the souls of our grandchildren.  May they always leave our presence- even when confused by our  words – secure in our love.

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5 Responses

  1. Cindi says:

    It helped me to also remember that we don’t have the responsiblity to make those we love have the same faith and beliefs, but to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to open their minds and hearts to truth. Yes, show His love and be ready to give an answer, “the right words at the right time” but to allow God to bring them in at the right moment.

  2. Sue Atwood says:

    A big “Amen” to your prayer above. May Jesus words come out of our mouths.

  3. Celina says:

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I’ve read stuff from.

    Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity,
    Guess I’ll just bookmark this page.

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