Listen to Me

This article is Part 2 of a five-part series for Grandparents on how to apply youth ministry skills in their work with their own grandchildren. You can view the previous article in this series here:  1. Lead from Alongside

My grandson was eight years old when his parents divorced. Due to my son’s job, his two children regularly stayed with me on Sunday nights. On Monday morning, I would drive them to school and hand them back to their mother. When they spent the night, I would read with them from “The Bedtime Blessings Book” by Marianne Richmond. 

One night my grandson asked, “Grandma, will you stay with me until I fall asleep?” This was my cue to listen. He then talked about the difficulties he was having in his new situation with his mother. (He “inherited” four big kids and their dad in the house.) 

After discussing his situation and his feelings a bit, I let him know that when I get stressed, I pray. He responded that he didn’t know how to pray. I then wrote this prayer for him to say when he got stressed about living in two places or sad because he did not always have his dad around to talk to.

Dear Jesus,

I know that I am made of the best parts of my dad and mom and that they both love me. Jesus, calm me down and help me take a big breath. I know that you are holding me and loving me when my dad can’t be there. I know that my sadness will soon get better. Amen

Love, Leo

He liked having a prayer of his own…one that specifically addressed his situation and gave him hope. 

I asked him, “Do you want to take this with you to your mom’s place?” He said, “No, grandma, the other kids in the house might make fun of me. But I know it’s always here for me.” 

My grandchild just wanted someone to listen.  The listening opened another door, a door to prayer.

Carmen Shaughnessy Johnson lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a regular speaker at Do It Grandly Seminars, and is the grandmother of three.

Copyright © 2020 Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club

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