Skype callI have been reading a lot about the complex art of grandparenting lately — so that I myself will have a better understanding of this privileged role, and that I might have great resources to recommend to others via this blog. Relationships are hard work and I need all the help I can get.

It seems that the constant key to great relationships with your grandchildren AND your children is, no surprise, communication.

Send cards for no apparent reason.

(We send postcards to our grandchildren from every place we travel…even though they can’t yet read!)

Skype is a God-send for those of us at a long distance.

And use the phone for something other than texts!

Our families post lots of pictures on facebook, so that has really helped to keep us connected.

And if you sense some conflict, quickly try to resolve issues.

By, um, verbal communication. Not just a glance or a step-away from the scene. Or rolling the eyes accompanied by a deep sigh. Those behaviors DO communicate, but certainly don’t invite discussion. I’m talking about a real conversation. Give and take. In person, when possible. By skype or phone only when face-to-face is impossible. The least preferred method of communication to address serious issues is the written word. So much can be read between lines that was never intended to be there. Facial expressions and tone are absent, so one can also misinterpret what’s actually written. A written note MAY be sent (mail, e-mail) to suggest an in-person conversation. And approach the conversation humbly, even if you’re SURE that you’ve done nothing to aggravate a situation. You might be surprised by what you hear if you’ll only take the time to listen! I doubt that any of us have reached perfection yet.

I love when I am reminded by a friend that this amazing stage of life is NEW to us. We’ve never been grandparents before. Our children have never had children before. We’ve never been this old before. Our children have never been this tired before. We are ALL learning. And adjusting.

I pray that we will all extend extra measures of grace through the process. I guarantee that we’ll all be the better for it.


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