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why grandparents are important

The Importance of Grandparents In Raising Older Kids: We Need You More

The importance of grandparents grows even more when you are raising kids. It’s so nice to have the grandparent’s help.

Growing up, my friends’ families vacationed at Disneyworld or sandy beaches. But, not my family. We went to Colorado Springs.

I loved our vacation spot for one big reason: my grandparents lived there. When we’d visit my grandparents, we’d also get to spend time with all of the extended family – aunts, uncles, and about a billion cousins. (It’s been joked that if you find yourself in Colorado Springs needing a ride, just stand at the corner and start hollering the family name. Some “Stegner” will be near to help.)

In contrast, raised as a military kid, my immediate family’s roots never ran deep. Just as soon as I’d familiarized myself with the neighborhood, settled into school, and made friends, we picked up and moved. (Again.)  Even though I loved the adventurous life of an Air Force family, I was also drawn to the stability of a giant family (with grandparents!) who shared a town. To me, Colorado Springs was sacred. 

{Fast forward.}

When my husband and I were trying to decide where to put down our own roots, I wanted to recreate that Colorado Springs experience. So, we weighed the options: live in Illinois (my parents) or Minnesota (my in-laws and their extended family). 

Minnesota won. 

In raising older kids, I’ve never been more grateful to live close to a set of grandparents. (And that the other set – my parents – visit often.) What a blessing both sets of grandparents are to us…an epic blessing.

I’ve found in raising tweens and teens, we need the grandparents more than ever, and here’s why:

No one else loves the kids like the grandparents

There’s a short list of people who truly love your kids as selflessly and wholeheartedly as you. The grandparents are on that list. With them, you can unleash all of your braggings about your kid and the grandparents actually want to hear your lack of humbleness! It’s lovely to share such love for tall, gangly humans with crackly voices and acne with someone else. (You complete us, grandparents. You. Complete. Us.)

family at dinner table
Connect your family with the grandparents using these 400+ conversation starters. My parents came into town and we discussed one of these questions for about 20 minutes – everyone got into it. It was fun.

Grandparents help with all the taxing around

Our family loves being involved; it’s fun to watch our kids learn and flourish in activities. However, our schedule stretches my husband and me as thin as paper. So, it’s ah-maze-ing when the grandparents dive in and cart our kids around to soccer games and basketball tournaments.

Similarly, I have a friend whose dad does all the boy scout activities with her son – it’s their special thing. And another friend whose son’s grandpa is in charge of his music lessons. Then there are the grandmas who help working parents with sick kids and take-your-dog-to-the-school-picnic day. 

Grandparents who jump in and help out – let us all rise up and call you beloved. (I’m so serious.)

Related article: 146+ Chapter Books for Tweens That Will Also Build Character

To keep your tweens/teens trust, you can’t talk to just anyone about them

I used to talk about my kid’s silly words, tantrums, and diaper blowouts with the moms in my MOPS group. (Mother of Preschoolers) But, now I can’t. My kids tell me things they don’t want laughed about or spread around like wildfire. But still, moms need a safe, nonjudgmental place to unravel our parenting thoughts. Grandparents provide that safe place.

Grandparents are important because more people cheering your kid on the better

If just even one of the four grandparents show up for a game or concert, my kids feel like a million bucks. The more people who love my kids and cheer them on the better!

why grandparents are important
Importance of grandparents photo by Tiago Muraro on Unsplash

It takes a village – grandparents say your wise words but sometimes better

I can tell my kids a thousand times that they need to read because it’s vital to their education and I get crickets. But when grandma buys them a new book and encourages them to enjoy it, all of a sudden reading is the best thing ever. Those important life lessons we so desperately want our kids to learn…sometimes the grandparents can drive home the point from a new angle or using a different style and it works. I’m pretty sure that’s called everyone is winning.

Related article: Keep Track of ALL THE THINGS in Style (Free Weekly Planner!)

 

Because moms need the grandparent’s encouragement too

There’s something life-giving about hearing your mom, dad or in-laws say, “Good job!” or “I’m grateful for you!” or “I love you!” Or notice that you could use a dinner out. (“Bring the family – we’ll pay!”) Or bring you a glass of peach sweet tea for no reason. (Awwww…you noticed me!) Grandparents, your kind words mean more to us than we sometimes even realize. 

importance of grandparents
The importance of grandparents is huge, but so is also being in a community of moms raising tweens and teens. Join our community HERE.

Sometimes confiding in a grandparent is easier than the parents

Mommas, yes, we want our teens to tell us everything. (Ah…sweet, utopia…) But, sometimes, there’ll be moments, when they need to talk to someone other than us. (Or instead of us.) So, it’s nice to have trusted adults who will help our kids gain perspective, feel cherished, and know they’re loved. Both kids and parents benefit from a wide support group. 

You help your kids build cherished relationships

My kids love that when their nana and papa come to visit. They explore museums, putt-putt golf, and make an abundance of chocolate chip cookies. My kids talk about the visit for months.

My in-laws (who live in town) are a staple in my kids’ lives. If my kids haven’t seen their grandparents in a few days, they bug us to see them. They even online shop with grandma over the phone. (“Mom, the amazon price has dropped, can I call grandma and let her know?”) (I’m not even kidding.)

By interacting with their grandparents, my kids are learning to engage with people and build cherished, healthy relationships. (My kids also learn to love unconditionally, because we’re family. We’re not perfect, but we always come back to loving each other.)

If your kids have grandparents around, consider yourself lucky

Most of those Colorado trips I remember so fondly ended up being just to see my grandma and the rest of the extended family. My grandpa died from Parkinson’s disease young. (I was only 12.) Similarly, I have dear friends whose parents are gone, or never visit, or are too busy living their own lives. Also, I have friends whose family drama has cast a dark shadow and the relationship isn’t there. So, I don’t take for granted two sets of active, healthy grandparents. And if you are in my boat, I bet you don’t either…

Importance of grandparents photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

To the grandparents (from us)

To the grandparents who love us so well – thank you. Thank you for being our “support staff.” (As my parents call themselves.) We cherish all the encouragement, listening, and rides for our kids. I know we often forget to tell you, so we’re saying it now: thank you.

Thank you for loving us so well. You are a sacred part of our lives and the moments spent with your grandkids – they will always be remembered.

And cherished.

Forever.

Just like you. You are deeply loved.

The importance of grandparents is huge, but so is being in a community of moms raising tweens and teens…

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s a fantastic life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are.


I got you, friend.
Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below.

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Read the full series on not just the importance of grandparents, but also on building your family’s community:

I was always the girl who moved. After I just unpacked my things into a new home and made it my own, found a church and started making a connection with my faith family, met the neighbors and began to enjoy living by new people, formed my friend group at school together and started to grow close to them – just when I would grow roots, my dad would get his orders.

As the daughter of an Air Force rescue helicopter pilot, I grew up moving every few years. (And sometimes few months, as we’d be in transition waiting for my dad to finish training or for a house to open up on base for us to live.) Moments were hard, but also, the life of a military kid was a great gift.

I learned so much, especially about the importance of community. I became a joiner.

Moms, there will be seasons for all of us when friendships feel hard, but still – we fight for community. We continue to work on building our friend group around us through church, neighbors, moms we meet through our kids, work, and more.

Because we need good people in our lives and people need us! Be encouraged by reading more articles on building your community:

The Importance of Grandparents and Building Your Community Series

The Power of Encouragement: Moms Need It More Than You Know
In Raising Older Kids: This Is Why You Need The Grandparents EVEN MORE 

importance of grandparents
The importance of grandparents is huge, but so is also being in a community of moms raising tweens and teens. Join our community HERE.
parenting teens

7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

(Inside: Why I love parenting tweens and teens. Raising teens is fun and parenting tweens can be some of the best years of your life. Here’s why…)

This summer, when we explored Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, we accidentally hiked 11 miles in one day. 

It was amazing.

Rushing water danced down steep slopes, deer bounded between the brush, and the world’s biggest trees towered above us with authority and beauty. We had no strollers, baby Bjorn, or tired little legs. Instead, we explored with three boys who loved the adventure and couldn’t wait to find what breathtaking waterfall/overlook/tree the next hiking path held. Our sons kept the energy upbeat, so we kept going….for 11 miles.

 

Raising teens and tweens is a fun phase of life.

Later that night, as I collapsed (literally) into our hotel bed, my heart beamed.  I thought: Today was spectacular. These boys made this experience ten times better. Omgosh I love parenting tweens and teens.

Why raising tweens and teens is the best.

Before I go on, let me clarify one thing: I don’t live in some elusive land of sunshine and roses. Of course, raising older kids presents unique challenges. We all know that every chapter in life holds beat-your-head-against-the-wall moments. But I’ve found that in raising teens, the good vastly outweighs the bad. Parenting tweens and teens can be a fantastic season of your life. Here’s why…

1. More me-time

Let’s just start right out of the gate here with a selfish thought: parenting older kids gifts moms with more me-time. We are raising our kids to be independent, which means, it’s good for them to hang out with friends, work hard at practice, spend time studying, work that job…etc. This important growing process gifts moms with more time. Beautiful, beautiful time… So we can use it how we want – guilt-free!

Related article: Why Alone Time for You is Good for Your Kids

2. Watching kids grow is amazing

Watching kids discover who they are, unearth their gifts, and learn how to use their talents – there’s nothing like it.

I’ve witnessed a parent bounce shamelessly like a 48-year-old cheerleader when her son broke away and scored that goal. (He’d finally gained the confidence to move!) And a mom-friend who posts a thousand dance pictures. (Her daughter overcame huge health issues to make it onto that stage!) Or the mom who tells the story with tears in her eyes how her struggling middle schooler has transformed into a happy high school kid – he’s found a group he loves, band, and her heart couldn’t be more full.

Then sometimes I become the cheerleading mom or picture-posting-over-sharer or story teller because it’s addicting to witness our kids discover who they are and learn what they can do. The teaching and learning that accompanies raising older kids are very special.

raising teens
Are you raising teens and tweens? Join this community of moms HERE.

3. Teens sometimes decide they love your hobbies too

Sometimes all the stars align just right and your kid ends up loving the same things you do.

My middle son plays guitar with his dad. He also jogs with me. Our oldest son and I discuss the interesting ways a story unravels in books and movies. Then my husband and son watch hours of basketball. Our youngest loves fishing with his grandpa, sitting on the lake beach with me, and letting his dad coach him in soccer.

Your kids deciding they love your hobbies too is one of life’s sweetest gifts. 

raising tweens teens

4. Intelligent conversations

That kid who munched on dog food when he was a toddler now actually has interesting things to say. It’s weird. Am I living in a parallel universe? Did my son just have an actual good opinion about politics? Did my other child say something wise about faith? Who are these little adults and what’d they do with my tweens and teens? 

Go ahead, momma, and pat yourself on the back. You made these human beings and you’re teaching them to mature in this awesome way. Dinner time just became fun. 

Connect with your big kids over these 400+ conversation starters.

5. Family connection activities are way more fun

We used to watch Little Einstein and now we watch the Avengers movies. (Multiple times and then discuss how they all connect.) And with that example, I think I’ve swiftly made my point. The older the kids get, the more fun it is for adults. So, plan that family activity – it’s no longer just for the kids, you will enjoy it too!

6. Parenting tweens/teens mean your kids are still in your home

I asked my empty-nester friend what her favorite life chapters have been and she said, “I loved the years when my kids were older but still in my home.”

I get you, dear friend – there’s something sacred about raising teens and tweens. Our kids are old enough to enjoy them more, but they’re still young enough to live with you. Your home might be messy and imperfect, but it’s full of life and love and joy. 

 

7. Your older kids still want your hugs and attention

In my twenty-plus years of teaching diverse students in a large public high school, I can say this with authority: all teens crave positive attention from their parents. (Or loved ones.)

Don’t buy their apathy and attitude. Tweens and teens want your encouraging words, hugs, and quality time. They need you in their lives. You make them happier, healthy, more well-adjusted human beings. 

So when those moments come and they ask you for a Starbucks date, just take them. Pay the $35.99 for two cups of the campfire mocha special and one scone. Then wrap your arm around your teen as you walk back to the car. They’ll soak it in and remember forever that they grew up loved.

Your Turn

What about you? If you are past this season, what did you love best about raising tweens and teens? If you are in the parenting tweens/teens chapter, what are you enjoying right now? Leave your thoughts in the comments (or email me); I can’t wait to read them.

If you’re raising tweens and/or parenting tweens, be encouraged by reading the full “Create Family Connection” series.

We all want to feel connected to our family. I know, I do. 

One of my favorite things to do with my family is to create family time. Yes, life gets busy, and no I don’t do this all perfectly (who actually does!?!), but it sure is fun to try.

I hope you enjoy these family connection articles and ideas too…

Creat Family Connection Series

FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Know Your Child: One Way to Learn How Your Kid Feels Loved

INSPIRATIONAL STORIES
One Easy Way to Get to Know Your Kid
Parenting Tweens: Annoying Ways Tweens Show Their Parents They Love Them
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

CELEBRATING HOLIDAYS
Celebrating Real Love This Valentine’s Day With My Family

raising teens
Are you raising teens and tweens? Join this community of moms HERE.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped your kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below. 

gifts for moms