Strategic Grandparent’s Day
For strategic grandparents, New Year’s Day is a great time to make new resolutions about passing on their faith to their grandchildren, but let’s start by being realistic. According to Statistic Brain, only 9.2% of us think we succeed at keeping our New Year’s resolutions. We know that half-made, poorly thought out, and nearly impossible resolutions fail. The following are a few ways to ensure a higher likelihood of success:
1. Pick a key area to work on as a strategic grandparent, for example – strategic birthday gifts, intercession, social networking, or encouraging your grandkid’s parents.
2. Set a specific, realistic goal
- I will give strategic birthday gifts to each of my five oldest grandchildren.
- I will intercede for my grandchildren every Tuesday according to a plan.
- I will learn
how to use e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Facetime, or Skype – before the Superbowl.
- I will send one note per month to my grandkid’s parents that encourages them about something they are doing well.
3. Pick a firm start date and enter reminders in your calendar wherever they would be most helpful, e.g. two weeks before the birthdays, or the 3rd of each month.
4. Tell yourself why. Every resolution should have identifiable purposes. Can you list them? Simply saying, “because I love Jimmy” is not enough. More specific reasons are better, such as: “because I don’t want him to make big mistakes in his early teens,” or “because I want him to know I am always available,” or “because I want him to know the truth and not be tossed around by every wave of foolishness that comes his way.”
5. Always be positive. Say what you will do, not what you won’t. For example, say, “I will compliment my granddaughter on the clothes that look good rather than complaining to her mother about ‘those tight jeans'”.
6. Have an accountability and encouragement partner. Ideally, this will be your spouse or a good friend. With a partner, you can double your impact – he checks in on you about upcoming birthdays, you check in on him about intercession.
7. Spend money on it. Are you a competitor? Make a monthly, friendly bet with another grandpa on meeting your monthly goals for intercession or letter writing. Or go out to lunch with another grandma and tell each other what is working.
Finally, and most importantly, you haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution until you have actually picked up pen and paper.
Mike Shaughnessy is the Executive Director of Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club