“Grandma’s Grab Bag,” Ensign, Aug. 1986, 61–62
Grandparents show their love for their grandchildren in a variety of ways. Crocheting afghans and lace for pillow slips and making quilts and needlepoint items for my twenty-five grandchildren are only a few of the ways I show I care. Other grandparents take their grandchildren fishing or write them letters.
Whether you live close to your grandchildren or far away, you don’t have to spend a great deal of time or money to keep close to them. Following is a grab bag of ideas I’ve gleaned from other grandparents. Perhaps you can add some ideas of your own.
—Bear your testimony often—in person or through a faith-promoting letter, story, or scripture sent in the mail.
—If you live close enough, take your grandchildren to visit Church historic sites.
—If you have the money to do so, contribute to your grandchildren’s missionary funds.
—Share the scriptures with your grandchildren. We have the scriptures in our home in a prominent, honored place, where our grandchildren can read them with or without us.
—Plan family activities. Camping trips, Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas parties, family reunions, and other times spent with your grandchildren live on in the minds and hearts of the whole family.
—Share your talents with your grandchildren. One grandfather, a retired carpenter, helped his children and grandchildren remodel an old home they had purchased together. Whatever your talents are—gardening, quilting, sewing, singing—share them.
—Share memories, and family histories too. Tell your grandchildren about life in “the olden days.”
—Listen to accomplishments, triumphs, fears, and problems—in person or through letters, tapes, and telephone calls.
—Remember each grandchild on special occasions. If you have many grandchildren, this can be a gigantic task. But it need not be expensive. If your financial resources prohibit gift-giving, send cards or write personal notes. Such personal communications will be treasured in years to come.
—Give your grandchildren Books of Remembrance. Teach them to fill them with information of eternal importance.
—When giving gifts, you might give some your grandchildren can enjoy in your home when they come to visit. A basket of toy animals kept at your home, favorite books they can read and borrow, records, dolls, and balls can be enjoyed by all your grandchildren, not just one.
—Treat each grandchild as an individual. Plan to do something with or for him or her at least once a year.
—Teach your grandchildren to work, sew, cook, mend, fix broken articles, and pick up after themselves.
—Take your grandchildren with you when you buy groceries. Teach them about sizes of cans, sizes of eggs, quality of cloth, and how to get the best buy for the money.
—Take your grandchildren to good cultural events.
—Take your grandchildren to the zoo and teach them about the animals.
—If you have the time and space, have pets for the children to care for and enjoy when they visit. One grandfather kept chickens for his grandchildren to care for. The children got the money from the eggs in return for cleaning his house each week.
—Let your grandchildren know that you expect good behavior and respect from them. They will rise to your expectations. And set a good example yourself. Be what you expect them to be. Caroline Eyring Miner, Salt Lake City, Utah