1 – Love Unconditionally. Let them know they are the light of your life. Always end the conversation with “I love you”. Tell them often how much they mean to you.
2 – Cheer them on. Not just at soccer or baseball games, but always tell them they can do it. Give them encouragement. Always be on their side and help them to believe in themselves.
3 – Laugh. See the funny side of life. Tell jokes and laugh at their jokes. Use humor to heal the heart.
4 – Hug. Make physical contact when appropriate. Give a good hug and kiss. Sit close and snuggle. Hold hands when walking.
5 – Move as much as you can. Keep active and do it with the grandkids. Walk. Ride bikes. Swim. Hike. Camp. Go fishing. Garden. Dance. Anything done with a child can be fun!
6 – Enjoy life. Don’t be a hermit. Be active in the world. See friends. Go to movies and plays. Listen to music. Go to the library. Join a club. Be active in church. Meet your neighbors.
7 – Be positive. Keep a good attitude. Don’t complain. Change the things you don’t like and adjust to the things you can’t change. Be an optimist.
8 – Have a hobby. Keep busy. Have a passion and an interest. It gives you something to talk about!
9 – Forgive. Set a good example and let go of the wrongs done to you. Learn to say “I’m sorry” also.
10 – Always greet them with a smile. Make your grandchildren feel as though you have been waiting for only them. Always always greet with a smile. Tell them how glad you are to see them.
Gramps and I just had our 9 year old grandson Mac spend the night with us. We do different things – play outside, go to a movie, play board games. We eat different meals – pizza, hamburgers or Mac’s favorite meal of salmon and broccoli. Sometimes we’re very active and sometimes we’re very quiet, but one thing always stays the same – the bedtime routine.
Getting ready for bed starts with Mac taking a warm shower. He feels very independent doing it on his own. I clean his ears, clip his nails and try to corral his hair with its many cowlicks. We go through the same jokes and conversations each time. How can they still be funny after all these years?
Next is tooth brushing. Mac likes to drag this procedure out for as long as possible for some reason. Maybe it’s because he likes to chat and keeps taking the toothbrush out of his mouth.
Then it’s off to pick out the three books for Gramps and Mac to read. The two of them sit on the couch and giggle and point and laugh and read out loud together. Mac can read very well, but Gramps does better voices and sound effects. This step would go on for hours if Granny didn’t finally say, “It’s time to go to bed please.”
After hugs and kisses all around, Mac jumps (yes, he literally jumps!) into bed. Now this is my favorite part! I lay down next to him for a few minutes while we have a nice quiet chat. We talk about the day we just had, the day coming up, funny things, odd things, ordinary things.
Last night’s talk:
Mac – “So how many baby teeth do people have?”
Granny – “I don’t know Mac. Let’s find out tomorrow.”
Mac – “OK”
What a great conversation is that! I love getting kids ready for bed with a quiet routine full of love and interaction. It is very soothing for me and my precious one.
P.S. We have 20 baby teeth. Who knew?!