What’s your grandparent story during the pandemic? Here are 5 principles to help you know how to grandparent during the coronavirus crisis.
How have things changed for you? Are you seeing the grandkids less because you’re staying home? Or more because your kids are essential workers and the grandkids are out of school?
Perhaps you’re wondering how to discern what you should be doing.
What should you as a Christian grandparent do during the coronavirus crisis?
Here are five things you can do to grandparent during these difficult days.
1. Take care of yourself.
We can’t be good grandparents when this is over if we aren’t around, so let’s do all we can to be healthy.
My husband and I are walking at the county park that is still open. It’s off the beaten path and under-appreciated, so crowds haven’t forced its closure. The exercise strengthens us physically and refreshes us emotionally. When they close the county park, we’ll start walking around our neighborhood.
We’re taking our vitamins, drinking lots of water, eating right, getting lots of sleep, and practicing healthy respiratory habits.
2. Pray like your life depends on it.
King Hezekiah knew about praying in a crisis.
When he received the letter from King Sennacherib of Assyria threatening to destroy Israel, he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread the letter out before the Lord. And he prayed:
You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see…Now, Lord our God, deliver us …, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.” ~ 2 Kings 19: 15,16, 19
We are in a war right now, too, even if our adversary is microscopic. We can turn to God like Hezekiah, knowing that he is our refuge and rescue.
I’m journaling my prayers, and doing listening prayer, because when we are on the other side of this, I want a record of God’s encouragement and faithfulness.
- Here are some verses you can pray.
- Here’s a book on listening prayer.
- Here’s a prayer journal with a nice layout.
3. Be calm and courageous when you talk with your kids and grandkids.
I waver in and out of being calm and courageous. One minute I’m good, then I read a particularly terrifying story about Italy, and fear washes up again.
Psalm 131 is a Song of Ascents. The Israelites would sing it as they walked up the hill to Jerusalem. Psalm 131:1-2 calls us to calm and quiet ourselves and to be content.
You could put your name at the beginning of verse 3:
Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore. ~ Psalm 131:3
We can breathe deeply, rest in the Lord, and find calm and courage in the middle of the crisis.
4. Speak hope and encouragement.
It’s all too easy for me to speak freely—sharing my fears and frustrations. But I’m learning to restrain myself. I don’t want my kids to have to hold me up.
Instead, I want to be the one that supports them. I’m the older person, so I want to be the elder. Let them turn to me. Don’t ask them to be strong for both me and their kids.
When I talk with the grandkids, I want to speak faith and courage into them. I want to help them not worry, to do the right things, and to learn to trust God in all of life’s challenges.
I’m being intentional to say things like:
- The Bible says that we can trust God.
Psalm 56:3-4a says, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.”
- I’ve seen God work in hard times before. One time he…
- Let’s pray together about this. What would you like to pray about?
We can choose to be the encourager, the strength-giver, the one who helps our kids and grandkids have courage to face hard times. We can show them how to trust Jesus now in the crisis, and in the good times to come.
5. Entertain the grandkids for awhile.
Today I read stories to three of my young grandkids. They picked the books from my collection of children’s books. We were on Facetime. I flipped the screen to my face occasionally, but most of the time I aimed it at the pictures in the book.
Fortunately they choose books with great art. Here’s what we read:
Sometimes our grandkids may just want to chat. We can ask them good questions like:
- What did you do this morning?
- What is your favorite (fill in the blank)?
- Tell me about “school” today.
- What happened today that made you laugh?
When they lose interest, I happily sign off, call it a win, and spend time with them again soon.
Every minute that we spend with our grandkids, in person or remotely, we are showing love to our kids and we’re are building up our relationships with our grandkids.
We love them so much and we show it with our time.
To recap how to grandparent during the pandemic:
- Take care of yourself.
- Pray like your life depends on it.
- Be calm and courageous when you talk with your kids and grandkids.
- Speak hope and encouragement.
- Entertain the grandkids for awhile.
Did you see something that resonated with you?
- Pick an idea or two from this list that you want to do in the next couple of days.
- Do you need to do any prep to make it happen? Coordinate with your kids?
Have fun and be safe in Jesus name!
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