This is Richard writing today to share some insights about grandparenting — and more specifically about grandfathering. I have been thinking about and working hard lately on a book called "Being a Proactive Grandfather," which will be published in a couple of weeks, and I thought I would share with our Deseret News readers a little inside information on the book and on the subject.
It was a couple of years ago as I first sat down to start writing the book that several things became obvious to me.
It turned out that writing the book has been a pleasure and a joy. It gave me organized time to think about and more fully appreciate my own grandkids and it gave me the chance to consider what kind of a grandpa I wanted to be.
It also caused me to think a lot about all that my grandkids do for me: They delight me; they keep me young; they give me hope for the future; they assure that my life will never be boring; they make me feel like I have accomplished something in my life; and they keep me laughing! For all of this and more, I want to be the best granddad I can possibly be.
Here are a few of my grandfathering conclusions:
It's all about communication, and part of that is learning to communicate on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or whatever they are using.
They need our confidence more than anything else — and we are well positioned to be their champions.
We can contribute to their identity and their resilience by being the ones to tell them stories about their great-grandparents and other courageous ancestors.
We can help them financially, but if we do, we need to do so intelligently and in ways that don't create entitlement or undermine their independence — things like matching grants and bonuses for jobs well done.
Knowing all we can about their interests individually is just as important as their knowing about yours.
I've been particularly anxious to share this book with our Deseret News readers because I know so many of us share the same values and the same family priorities.
But irrespective of whether you want the book, let's all agree on this: The role and title and opportunity of "grandfather" is or can be one of the very happiest and most fulfilling parts of our life, and it deserves a little focus, a little thought, a little analysis, a little strategy and a lot of priority.
Note: We have arranged with our publisher a half-price, early bird special we can now pass on to you: Go to familius.com/eyre-special and use the coupon code EYREFRIEND.