By Renee Patton
”Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6
My children are raised and all married. Guess what God has allowed next? GRANDCHILDREN! To me, “Grammy” is the greatest title I have had thus far and comes with a great responsibility. I treasure being called “Grammy!” And my little crowns are a real treasure. Each grandchild, six currently, is a blessing already - their smiles, giggles, and blowing kisses on Facetime. There really is nothing better!
Although I have only been a Grammy for a handful of years, I have enjoyed every single second of hugs, snuggles, coos, and conversations with all these littles! They are just truly the bestest! What makes my time as Grammy even easier, is knowing my children all carry on in truth, rearing their children for the Lord (III John 1:4). These are truly the best days yet!
I cannot “retire” from training. Even though my children are grown, I must remain steadfast in my life. I desire to see and be with my children and grandchildren as long as the Lord gives me breath. We have accumulated many frequent flyer miles thus far! My husband and I use our vacation time to be with our children and grandchildren. No one lives close, but we are thankful they are all in full-time ministry service for God. Four are over two thousand miles away and the other two are “across the widest ocean!” I would not have it any other way!
A few things I have kept up with or implemented since beginning Grammyhood…
1. A Walk with God
Maintaining my walk with God is crucial to every aspect of my well-being — spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental. I must keep my heart right (Proverbs 4:23). My grandchildren need to see that I walk with God and live by faith. We know faith is unseen, but our grandchildren can see faith in God through us. I have read my Bible, prayed, and sang with my grandchildren. I want to pass on the faith I hold so dear to my heart. Remember Lois in II Timothy 1:5? Paul recognized that Timothy’s faith was passed down by Lois initially.
**Read your Bible with them.
**Pray with them.
**Sing Hymns or Bible songs with them.
I seek to love my grandchildren unconditionally. I want them to see God’s love for them through me. They will err, and I long for them to know Grammy loves them no matter what. Say the words, “I love you.” Tell them often. Those grandchildren should know you love them. I want Grammy’s house to be fun and full of love with lots of snuggles and storytime. I love to take them to the park and out for an ice cream. We bake cookies together, color, play, build, and so much more. I do not want to merely say “I love you.” I seek to show them I love them. I have a friend whose Mom Facetimed games together with her grandchildren. There are creative ways to demonstrate love both near and far.
**Say, “I love you” often.
**Love is an action.
**Love is memories made.
I still need to maintain discipline with my grandchildren. I have been blessed to have one of our children say to me please discipline when the child disobeys. I do not want to retrain them after I get back home. This tells me two things. First, they trust me enough to maintain consistency in their child’s life. Second, I must walk this line guarded, for both my child’s and grandchild’s sake. In regard to my child, I desire to keep that trust and never to usurp their authority. For the grandchild, I want them to know that I love them completely but they still need to be obedient. I do not wish for Grammy’s house to be a place to undo what Dad and Mom have instilled but to reiterate what Dad and Mom have instilled in THEIR child.
**Love, but be firm.
4. My Place
I must remember that I am only Grammy, not Mom. My grandchild has a Mom who is rearing them for the Lord. My place is to reinforce that concept, not rewrite it. I desire for my children to want me to be around them and trust me with their children. It is definitely not my place to give unsolicited advice. Ask my children. They have not been given child-rearing advice or tips unless they have asked. I purposed for this because I did not appreciate the manner in which I was given advice or had comments made to me while raising my children.
This comment came up recently with one of my children and she said, “I’m asking, give me your tips for training.” Now, the door opened, but I still walk carefully through it to maintain my place appropriately out of respect to them! There have been times I have had to hold my tongue when around my family, but it’s not my job to correct my children in front of theirs. It just simply is not my place to correct my adult children.
**Remember who’s Mom.
**Remember your place.
**Hold your tongue.
5. Be a Blessing
Every situation and family are unique. How you are a blessing to your children will differ. Since all my children typically will travel by plane to Grammy’s house, I try to have many of their necessities so my children can pack light. For example, I have accumulated or purchased strollers, car seats, toddler beds, pack-n-plays, bedding, age appropriate toys, etc. I try to have the brand and size of diapers they prefer, etc. Offer to have or do what your child needs. Perhaps, offer to babysit instead of being asked. Offer to go over and help your child complete unfinished tasks. Offering to do something instead of being asked to do it will ensure you are a blessing to your children and grandchildren.
**Find out how you can be a blessing to your family.
**Offer instead of being asked.
6. Gift giving.
The gifts I give do not always need to be a surprise. Oftentimes, I defer to my children and ask what the grandchild needs. This goes hand in hand with being a blessing. I wish to not purchase things my children do not want for their children. I will typically ask what would be good or ask if such and such would be okay to purchase for their birthday or Christmas. Ask your children what things or characters they do not wish to have in their home. Again, it’s their children, not yours.
**Ask what is needed.
**Ask about preferences and dislikes.
These have been just a few thoughts of what I try to make or have implemented for my season of Grammyhood!
Every lady's season and circumstances with their children will be unique; thus, adjust to make things work for you so that you too may have the best season of Grammyhood. Enjoy your crowns too because these are the best days yet!
Grammyhood is the icing on the cake of childrearing – enjoy every second! Love them, pray for them, and make memories with them!