Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 18 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Daudi Okelo and Bl. Jildo Irwa
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

A lightning visit to grandparents can make their day



Dolors Massot - published on 10/28/18

These kids of visits are easy to schedule and foster family closeness.

Most grandparents yearn to see their grandchildren. They think about them and wonder, “What are they doing now?” If it rains, they say, “I hope they don’t go outside to play today in case they catch a cold.” In their kitchen, they always have little treats for their grandchildren’s visits: hot chocolate and other favorite beverages, cookies and breakfast cereals, and meals like spaghetti or macaroni and cheese. They seem to always be ready for surprise or planned visits.

For parents, however, bringing the children over to their grandparents’ for a visit can be challenging.

On weekdays, parents often barely have enough time to go work, pick up the children from school, take them home, prepare, serve, and eat dinner, take baths, and go to sleep. As children become more independent, they don’t need help bathing, and although they begin to get involved in extracurricular activities, and their afternoons may be more open, depending on sports an extracurricular activities.

As for weekends, a family’s busyness will depend much on their own customs and traditions. Schedules might be filled with traveling, out-of-town trips, shopping, household chores, sporting events — and going to church.

But it’s important for children to spend time with their grandparents — not just because a visit from the grandkids can help brighten their grandparents’ day, but because kids need to get to know their grandma and grandpa. Pope Francis has repeatedly emphasized the role that older generations in a family have in passing on wisdom to the youngest generations. He went so far as to say that “grandparents are like the wisdom of the family, they are the wisdom of a people. And a people that doesn’t listen to grandparents is one that dies!”

In this light, we should consider changing our family routines to incorporate the grandparents as much as possible: maybe they can pick up the little ones at school, bring them home and give them their afternoon snack, or perhaps take them to school in the morning instead. But as that isn’t always possible, we will need to resort to “lightning visits.”

“Lightning visits” are easy to organize, with just a quick phone call to be sure grandma and grandpa are home and available:

  • There’s no need to worry about bringing “impeccable” children. Grandparents love seeing them with dirty knees from playing on the floor or outdoors.
  • There’s no need to make the visit three hourslong. Grandparents rather enjoy frequent short 10-minute visits full of hugs and kisses than having to wait for weeks before seeing their grandchildren again — and too long a visit can tire them out.
  • There’s no need to wait until everyone is available for a quick visit. If you know that grandpa won’t be home today because on Thursdays he meets with friends in the neighborhood, go anyway to say hello to grandma. On another day it might happen in reverse.

In this way …

  • You’ll be able toregularly pay them a quick visit that will brighten what perhaps might otherwise be a very monotonous day and week for grandpa and grandma.
  • Grandchildren will learn from their elders.
  • Grandparents will see their grandchildren grow up, and be able to share useful information and advice that will help them in their studies and behavior, enhancing their overall upbringing.
  • Each visit will be in itself a gift for young and old.
  • Your family will become more united by spending time together beyond the formal visits on essential dates.


Read more:
Pope: Grandparents aren’t an inconvenience!

Read more:
Pope Francis warns: A society that does not take care of its grandparents has no future


Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.