Grandparents: Where Are You Going Next?
We figured since this conversational path intrigued us so much, it would probably excite attendees, too. It led us, as a committee, to put up a dedicated wall space at the reunion, which we called “the timeline.” It was an opportunity for classmates to write a brief favorite life story about who they were, where they had been, AND declare where they wanted to go next.
In looking at what everyone wrote for where they wanted to go, there were three key themes: “I want to travel, learn, and grow,” “I want to become more involved in my community,” and, the one that stood out to me especially, “I want to be with my family and grandchildren more.”
Keeping Up With the Grandkids
While that may be true, your grandkids don’t need you to jump on a video game with them. They need you to engage with them in a meaningful, real-life way.
“But how do I do that?” you ask.
While no one likes to be lectured at, talking about your values, stories, and experiences while you are out together is an invaluable part of building your family legacy.
Yes! Your Grandchildren Are Your Legacy Too!
What were your chores as a kid? Did you share a bed with a sibling (or two) because there wasn’t enough room for everyone? Did you ride a horse to school everyday? Did you work at the corner store from the age of 7? What did it teach you then? Or didn’t you know any different?
And don’t forget to ASK them questions! You got to school on a horse, but your grandchild’s friend has a Tesla with winged doors. What’s that like? (It’s actually extremely slow!)
- Think about some events in your life that have always stood out in your mind.
- Write down a few notes about one event that deeply affected you, made you laugh, or feel good and why.
- Then, pick something to do together in which your story might easily come up. You’ll be surprised how closely a child will listen if you are very honest and open.
As grandparents, we can and we must step forward with what our past is about and why it matters that our children and grandchildren know about it. Retirement isn’t about dropping out. It’s a time to live, continue to grow, and give back. What better place to give than your grandchildren.
You can do more!
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