Publisher’s Note: Meridian is pleased to partner with the Eyres in furnishing Grandparents with insights, ideas, and methods to help us all be more proactive and effective in this eternally important role of helping the wonderful grandkids who are our legacy. The Eyres have taken their Meridian Grandparenting articles and added to them to create a Grandparenting course composed of 6 Zoom Seminars and emailed materials. It starts in September and you can enroll at www.Grandparenting101.com.
Author’s note: We appreciate Scot and Maurine Proctor (very experienced grandparents themselves) for making Meridian Magazine our partner in what we hope will become a Grandparenting Movement—something the world needs right now!
GRANDparent: What a Title, What a Role!
The terms “Grandfather” and “Grandmother” seem to have come from the “Grand Dame” and Grand Sire” titles of fourteenth century France and from the Danish words meaning “Best Father” or “Best Mother.”
At any rate, they are pretty great titles, and maybe our whole objective is to try to really be “Grand” in these important roles. And just think, before long, some of us may be Great Grand Parents.
So, how do we become both great and grand as the leaders of our three or four generation families? How do we maximize the joy of ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren? That is a question that can be complicated and difficult, as well as important.
Particularly so for members of the Church, where we believe that extended family is the key to eternity, and indeed the very Government of God. It is these eternal families that ultimately matter most, even more than the Church itself. We should remember what President Lee said, that “the Church is the scaffolding with which we build Eternal Families.”
So being the best we can be in these roles ought to be a deliberate goal. “How can I be greater and grander” should be more than a rhetorical question!
The Most Important Thing
As writers, we have found that we do our best work when we are writing about what we are currently DOING! And right now, a big part of what we are doing is GRANDPARENTING! Spending time with this third generation of our family, and trying to be helpful (and not step on the toes of) the second generation is a real art and skill, and we can all get better at it.
And what a popular and fascinating subject grandparenting is becoming. It’s a role that many of us will be playing for 30 or 40 years. It’s a role that is (or can be) one of the most delightful parts of our lives. It’s a role that can make a real difference in who our grandkids become. It’s a role that (if we do it well) will keep us close and connected to our own kids who are the parents of those grandkids. And it is the role that will create and determine our legacy!
When we set out to create Grandparenting101.com and to lead a 6-month Zoom course on better grandparenting, we quickly realized that there are no easy answers, and no one-size fits all solutions, and no ideas that will work for everyone. We decided that what we really need is a Grandparenting Movement, where we learn from each other and are stimulated and motivated to find the things that will help us to each lead our own unique three-generation families lovingly and effectively. But we also knew that there are some parts of grandparenting that almost all of us are interested in getting better at. We sent out a survey to hundreds of grandparents, and here is a little summary of the results:
What Grandparents have been telling us
- 88% said they would like to be more proactive and involved in grandparenting.
- Over 71% said they wanted to have more meaningful dialogue with their grandkids about faith and values.
- 73% indicated that extending financial help that promoted self-reliance rather than entitlement was important to them.
- 95% said they wanted to learn to give advice to grandchildren without offending their children (the parents).
- 78% said that making sons- or daughters-in-law feel like a true and real part of the family was important.
- Over 90% felt that connecting grandkids to their genealogical roots was important.
- And over 72% said they were interested in making their empty-nest marriage better.
So, these are some of the subjects that are included in Grandparenting101.com. The course consists of two essential parts: 1. A monthly Zoom seminar packed with ideas and proven “best-practices” on these and other “how-tos.” And 2. Written articles and updates that will go to the emails of registered members.
Most of us really want to be better at this role of grandparenting…and we don’t want to have to figure it out for ourselves or re-discover the wheel. If there are some things that work—some ideas that are proven and tested—we want to know about them; and we want to discuss them and hear from other grandparents and truly become the best grandparents we can be.
Here’s how to get involved
Over the past several months, as we have been putting this course together and getting input from thousands of grandparents, we have realized that no two families are alike, either in their configurations and situations, or in their financial circumstances. So, while there are costs involved, one thing we absolutely did not want to do was to create something that some could afford and some could not.
So, we have set it up on a “pay what you can” basis. This means that there is free registration for grandparents on very tight budgets who can enroll as “scholarship members.” There is also a “sponsorship registration” where those who can afford it pay a little more than their share of the costs. Hundreds have already registered at www.Grandparenting101.com, either as regular, scholarship, or sponsoring members and we love how this symbolizes how we are all in this Grandparenting thing together—and will be striving in this course and in the Zoom Seminars to not only help in our own individual families but to be part of a movement that strengthens three-generation families everywhere!
Getting involved is simple. Just go to grandparenting101.com and register. Encourage other grandparents to do the same, particularly your relatives, neighbors and friends, so that you will have someone to discuss the seminars with personally.
As New York Times #1 Bestselling Authors, Linda and Richard have, since the pandemic, shifted their focus from parenting to grandparenting—believing that 3-generation families are the solutions to many of our family disfunctions and the key to a better and less-divided world.