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The Simple Secret To Successful Grandparenting

By Dr. Roger Landry 

I often ask my grandkids, “What’s the most important thing you’re going to do today?” They laugh and answer, “We know Papa. It’s what we’re doing right now.”

Being in the present moment is something I’ve tried to teach my grandchildren from an early age. But you know what? Sometimes, even I forget this valuable lesson, and rely on my time with my grandchildren to remind me. As we focus on the stress of everyday responsibilities, it’s easy to be carried away “down the river” in what Buddhist’s call the chattering “monkey mind,” that place where our minds are incessantly carrying on a conversation within us, seemingly against our will. This pattern usually results in us worrying about our to-do list or the future in general, and missing the now.

Fortunately, our grandchildren and great grandchildren are here to remind us what’s important. After all, it takes our complete attention to keep up with their wild bundles of energy, while also making sure they remain safe in our care. The time we spend with our grandkids is precious, and often one of the few times we get to be completely in the moment. That “being in the moment” reduces stress and allows us to focus – not on lofty goals of the future, but just on the here and now. It gives us the opportunity to play again, to once more be in this moment, with this grandchild sharing this gift of life.

We cannot be truly healthy unless we are spiritually healthy. Spiritual health, I have come to believe, is the glue of it all, the road map of our journey. Viktor Frankl agreed: “The spiritual dimension cannot be ignored, for it is what makes us human.” One way to tap into that spiritual connection is through our connection to our grandkids.

And you know what? We can carry some of that keen awareness into other experiences in our daily lives. For example, whenever you find yourself thinking about something other than what you are doing, gently guide yourself back to what you’re doing in this moment. After all, whatever you’re doing right now is the most important thing you’ll do today! Live long. Live well.

About Dr. Landry

Dr. Roger Landry is a preventive medicine physician, author of award-winning Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging and President of Masterpiece Living, a group of multi-discipline specialists in aging who partner with communities to assist them in becoming destinations for continued growth. Trained at Tufts University School of Medicine and Harvard University School of Public Health, Dr. Landry specializes in building environments that empower older adults to maximize their unique potential.
Dr. Landry was a flight surgeon in the Air Force for more than 22 years keeping pilots and other aircrew healthy and performing at their best. One of his charges was world famous test pilot, Chuck Yeager. Dr. Landry retired as a highly decorated full colonel and chief flight surgeon at the Air Force Surgeon General’s Office in Washington, DC after duty on five continents and being medically involved in a number of significant world events including: Vietnam, the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, the Beirut bombing of the Marine Barracks, the first seven Shuttle launches and the first manned balloon crossing of the Pacific. For well over a decade, Dr. Landry has focused his efforts on older adults as a lecturer, researcher, consultant and author. 
For more information about Dr. Landry and his work, visit www.MyMasterpieceLiving.com and www.LiveLongDieShort.com 


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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