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The Unique Role of Grandparents in Times of Crisis

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

At its core, a crisis is a sudden, negative change in medical, physical, financial, spiritual, emotional, or relationship circumstances. Some crises are a result of human error and others come by way of nature, freak occurrences, or local, national, and global influences. However they appear, crises impact us hard and our emotional response may be wild and difficult to manage for a time. Grandparents have a unique role in times of crisis. Grandparents are uniquely equipped to be leaders in our families when crisis strikes.

How so? One of the great blessings of age is decades’ worth of life experiences. Those experiences become the lens through which we view and respond to each new experience, particularly the challenging ones. As grandparents, we can take stock of family history, consider the difficulties faced by ourselves or predecessors, and glean wisdom to share with future generations.

Grandparents' Role in Times of Crisis

When crisis strikes grandparents can step in to uniquely support their children with wisdom from their lived experiences. They can offer temporary financial support. Grandparents might even consider taking on tasks that are otherwise overwhelming for parents of young children when crisis strikes. This could include making meals, providing transport to and from school or related activities, or some other practical help. Communication is key here! In a time of a family crisis, the only way you may be able to help is through prayer. The most important thing is that your family knows you’re there with them through the crisis.

Every family experiences crises over the course of generations. It’s just a matter of when, to whom, and what type of crisis occurs. The question and determinant of recovery and long-term success become how we handle the fallout. When we have spent time examining our own and predecessors’ experiences as suggested above, we realize that life always moves forward. Crises never last forever. We adapt, we grieve losses, we adjust course–whatever is required–and we keep going. We persevere.

This month at Grandparenting A to Z, we’ll be talking about crisis and unexpected turns in family life. In addition to the blog, we’ll come at this issue from a variety of angles in our weekly emails, videos, and social media content. Join the GPAZ community to be encouraged and inspired to overcome life’s challenges!

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