I will just go ahead and say it, my grandkids are brilliant geniuses. First grader Maggie can read the word ‘pinkalicious’, four-year-old Mollie can smell chocolate a mile away and baby Mason can fill a diaper like nobody’s business.
Okay, some might say brilliantly average but not me. These are my grandkids. I’m an expert on their brilliance because I get a front row seat to it. My son and daughter-in-law keep me hooked up with the latest. I know who just got a part in the school play, who wiped their own bottom and who waved a spoon with such gusto he banged himself on the head.
My kids don’t just invite me into my grandkids lives, they throw the door wide open. I’m extremely grateful because I love being a part of every trivial detail of their lives.
And the chances are, even if your relationship with your parents isn’t all that you wish it could be, your parents want to be a part of their grandkid’s lives, too. And whether they live far away or aren’t quite as involved, here are three ways to invite them in.
1. Overwhelm them with pictures.
Through Facebook, Instagram, and texts my kids let me witness the moments; the good, the bad and the really funny. One of my favorites was when Mollie requested her mommy take a picture of her posing with a roll of toilet paper because she declared it her best friend. No picture is too random or inane. Each one makes us feel included, witnesses to the moments of their lives. So post with abandon and remember to save some just for the grands (we LOVE those cute bath time pics).
2. Use technology.
The four-month old face-timed me yesterday (okay, maybe he had assistance). I have to admit the conversation dragged a bit, but I could tell he was thinking brilliant thoughts. He called because he knew I wanted to see his latest trick, the ‘grunt and roll maneuver’ which he performed with perfection. The point is that even though I wasn’t in the room, I was in the room. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, whatever you’ve got, hook your parents up and invite them to experience the moments. The more random the better.
3. Share the boring details.
Here’s the truth, the boring details aren’t boring to us. We love to hear what the doctor said at the routine check up. Yes, we want to know what gave them diarrhea last night and how long the baby had the hiccups. We really do care how they did on their algebra test and who the latest boyfriend is. And bear with us, we might even ask for more details. Remember, you get the joy of raising them every single day. Don’t forget to invite us along for the ride.
Did you know this Sunday is Grandparents Day? What a great time to tell your parents, in-laws, or step-parents how thankful you are for the important role they play in your kid’s life. Drop them a note, give them a call. And better yet, have your kids give them a call.
Grandparents have an abundance of love and wisdom to offer, so keep being intentional at widening the circle for your family and inviting them in to help shape your kid’s story.