Tension in our families can drive us away from one another and rob us of the great joy of being close, even though we all know it takes a village to raise children. Sharing this community of child-raising across family generations is not only important, it’s also valuable for everyone. Today, grandparents may or may not have an active role in the lives of their grandchildren depending on time, distance and family dynamics. There is an ever-changing culture that families face today that is different than before.
When families don’t get along, children pay the heaviest price. Family conflict can leave children feeling caught in the middle as mediators. Disagreements over small things like what children should eat or how they should be disciplined can lead to battles that can create a divide in the family.
The book Courageous Grandparenting contains great insight into how grandparents and parents can work together to strengthen the whole family. Author, Cavin Harper wrote:
“Successful grandparents know it is not just about the grandkids and them. I hope you recognize that our top priority is to figure out how parents and grandparents can work together as allies, not adversaries. Our goal is to work together toward the same objective – to help our grandchildren become all God wants them to be. Our job is to find ways to foster an environment in which our adult children can become the greatest parents possible.”
Whether you are the grandparent, parent or even aunt, uncle, or neighbor, think about how you can partner with your family to expand the positive influences for the children in the family. Consider how you can work together as allies rather than adversaries. It can all start with a conversation. When we ask questions about how we can best partner together and we address the challenges in our relationships, everyone wins! It might not be easy, but it will have a great payoff.
“I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3