Though the new year steadily picks up steam, there’s still plenty of time to resolve to improve certain areas of one’s life. Some call such intentions resolutions, but for me, the “R” word guarantees failure as I rail against having to do what’s expected of me… even if the only one expecting it is myself.
I don’t do resolutions. I do do to-do lists, though, and the following is my to-do list for grandparents. The great thing about this to-do list is that you don’t check off tasks as they’re completed, for these are never completed, you simply do them over and over and over. Or at least attempt to.
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2014 To-Do List for Grandparents
With your grandchildren and for your grandchildren. Whatever gets you moving, do it… more often. Think of new ways to move, too.
Grands of all sorts – grand parents and grand kids – spend far too much time in front of screens. Take those kiddos outdoors. Show them how to play the games their parents did as kids, that you did as a child. Kick the can, anyone?
Exemplify and encourage compassion, gratitude and grace. The world could sure use more of this. Do your part to model it.
Get out from behind the camera.
Sure, we grandparents love photos of our grand times with our grandkids. Being in the moment and taking a picture with your heart lasts far longer than the pixels that often remain in your camera.
Print those pictures. Speaking of pixels, get those hundreds of photos of shiny, happy people you love off your camera, off your phone and onto your walls or desk to display.
Connect with the young’uns in high-tech ways and while playing high-tech games. Learn how to do Google hangouts. Figure out how to win at Minecraft.
Eliminate envy… of the other grandparents.
Enough said. (Yeah, this is a hard one, I admit. Good thing this is a list of things to do again and again, for elimination takes time.)
Not only is laughter the best medicine, it’s the best glue between grandparents and grandchildren. Besides, who else appreciates corny jokes more than kids do (those moans and groans are the sounds of appreciation, I swear).
Tell stories, too.
Grandchildren love to hear stories about when they were born, when they were learning a new skill, when they were the star of the show and how proud everyone was of them. They love to hear the same thing about their parents – and even about their grandparents.
Snail mail still delivers.
Whether they live near or far, grandchildren delight over receiving letters and more in the mailbox. The real mailbox. Better yet if it’s a box with edible goodies – Grandma’s cookies, for instance – inside.
Remember the adult kids.
It’s so easy to fall into focusing on the grands, yet the parents of the grandchildren were our kids first, will always be our kids. Spend a little time focusing on them now and again.
Get a life.
Activities and interests outside of grandparenting make grandparents far more interesting. Plus they give us something to do when the grandkids are too busy to play – or live far away.
What else would you to the list?
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Lisa Carpenter is a Colorado-based freelance writer. She publishes the Grandma's Briefs website, where she shares bits on life's second act and strives to smash the outdated "grandma" stereotype. Lisa has been married to the same man forever; together they have three adult daughters, one son-in-law and two grandsons (plus their sibling, due June 2014). Lisa is easy to find online as she's known as GrandmasBriefs wherever she goes: Twitter (@grandmasbriefs), Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere.