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I simply must do this right. That was my internal message when I was raising my kids. Protection, direction, discipline…all were critical to every-day life. As a new grandmother my message has changed to I love doing this right now. My life isn’t less full or distracting, but it’s so much easier to grasp the importance of being in the moment with little ones this time around. In my second-to-last show of 2011 I asked my co-grandparent and husband, Brad Markins, to chat with me about what we’re learning. Whether you’re a new parent or long-time grandparent, there is something for you. Please listen, share and post a comment about your experiences.

Bold Living airs on stations in various cities and for easy on-demand access, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (search Diane Markins) from my website.  Diane Markins 

Top Tips for Grandparenting Excellence

by Brad Markins

These are a few suggestions for excellence in your grandparenting pursuits:

  • Be respectful of your kids. Ask permission before showing up, giving a gift or doing anything significant that involves their new bundle of joy.
  • Extend grace to your kids. Don’t be offended if they don’t want your help or long visits. Forgive them if they hurt your feelings. They are overwhelmed and tired.
  • Be available. Do your best to make spending time with the grandkids a top item on your schedule.
  • Block out distractions. When you have the chance to be with grandkids, don’t let other things distract you…a ball game, favorite TV show, work project or phone conversation with a good friend can wait. This is a precious opportunity.
  • Teach them. No matter what age, a grandkid can learn something new…about manners, nature, science, etc. Capitalize on the teachable moments.
  • Know them. Learn your grandchild’s love language and gifts so you can relate well.
  • Encourage them. This world is full of challenges, be a fan and a cheerleader.
  • Be honest. Tell your grandchild (lovingly) when you think he’s making a bone-headed move.
  • Keep up. Try to learn what interests her and be as tech-savvy as possible.
  • Honor their privacy and secrets. Don’t push too hard to make them tell you everything, and when they do share a secret…keep it between you. If they trust you with small secrets, they’ll trust you with bigger ones later.
  • Don’t judge. Be a safe haven. Sometimes grandkids only need love. They don’t want advice or criticism.
  • Model good character. Be kind to store clerks, don’t grumble about traffic or how expensive it is to eat out, have integrity in all things.
  • Let them see you with God. Don’t preach, rather live out the gospel and get “caught” reading your Bible or praying. Remind them that you are always praying and that there is big power in prayer.

I’ve done some of these and have watched my grandparents and my kids’ grandparents do others. These are my best tips. I’m sure you have plenty more that will help me and others who are figuring out how to be top-notch grandparents so do tell in a comment below!

Pass this on to friends and “like” my page on facebook. If you’re on twitter, tweet away and use #grandparenting. Listen to the interview December 21 at 2:30 (MDT) on KKIM or thereafter on the link added below.

Christmas peace and joy to you!