This article is Part 4 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 articles in this series here: 1. Lead from Alongside, 2. Listen to Me, 3. Story Telling.
Children and youth want to become adults — eventually. They play “mom and dad” and imitate other adults’ behavior. But they are only playing, not actually doing anything responsible. One of the main differences between an adult and a child is that adults are happy when they have responsibility and a child is content when he plays.
The Harvard Grant Study recently showed that children who did chores were happier than those who didn’t. Even if it doesn’t delight us, carrying responsibility is a virtue. It is a form of love. Helping your grandchildren grow in love is part of passing on your faith.
Serving together with your grandchildren is definitely worth doing. First, it helps them take a step toward adulthood. Second, you deepen your relationship with each other. Third, you serve your grandchildren in the process. Fourth, you serve others as well.
Here are eighteen great ideas on how to serve together with your grandchildren!
- Send cards to soldiers serving overseas
- Collect unused makeup and perfume to donate to a center for abused women
- Deliver Meals on Wheels with your grandchild helping to deliver the meals
- Tutor children together
- Collect baby clothes and supplies to donate to new parents
- Collect used sports equipment to donate to those who need it
- Coach a youth sports team together
- Put on a comedy or music performance for the elderly
- Organize an Easter egg hunt for neighborhood children
- Collect used children’s books to give to the poor
- Make birthday cards for the elderly with no family
- Organize Christmas caroling together with others
- Sponsor an animal at your local zoo
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Collect blankets to give to a homeless shelter
- Take orphan children on outings
- Adopt a local highway and clean up the trash found alongside it
- Organize a service team of seniors and teens together to do any of the above and host a celebration afterward.
For Discussion: which of the above could you see doing with one of your grandchildren?
For Action: Do it!
Mike Shaughnessy is the founder of Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club and lives in Lansing, Michigan. His book, The Strategic Grandparent, published by The Word Among Us press, will be released in May 2020.
Copyright © 2020 Grandly: The Strategic Grandparents Club