Though the title of this blog is “Big God, Busy Mom,” parents are certainly not the only adults who have an important role to play in raising children with faith. Often it is grandparents who are taking on the responsibility of discussing religion with children.
Whether this is because a grandparent is a primary care-provider, a child’s parents are unable or uninterested in going to church, or simply because grandparents are inherently involved in the upbringing of grandchildren—the bond between grandchild and grandparent can be a profound source of religious influence, education, and joy.
So what are some ways you can encourage your grandchild to explore religion and develop their own relationship with God?
For all ages:
- Share your family history: As Bruce Feiler explains in this fascinating New York Times article, understanding their family’s stories and history has a positive effect on children’s self esteem, emotional health, and happiness. Talk to your grandchildren about the ups and downs in your family’s history, the blessings you thank God for, and how important faith has been, especially when the going got tough.
- Read a Biblical storybook together over Skype: Thanks to technology, whether you live down the block or across the country, you can still be a consistent presence in your grandchild’s life. Set aside time each week for a Skype or FaceTime chat, and instead of just having an unstructured conversation, choose a story from a Biblical story book to read together and discuss.
- Send a text: Perhaps one of the easiest ways to connect with a teenage grandchild while integrating God into your daily lives, is to just send them a text when you are thinking about them or praying for them. For example, if they have a big test coming up at school, shoot them a text to let them know you’re praying for them and to wish them luck!