Today I am interviewing a woman from Kansas who believes grandchildren are an absolute treasure.
Ruth Cowles has seven grandchildren scattered around the world in places like Kansas, Georgia, Pennsylvania and even Austria.
The distance makes it more challenging for her to have regular contact with each of them, but it has also instilled in her a passion to help grandparents have greater influence in the lives of their grandchildren. In fact, she considers it a biblical mission.
Ruth feels so strongly about grandparents having influence in the lives of their grandchildren that she wrote a book to help support those vital relationships.
“The Grandma Club: The Joys and Challenges of Grandparenting” tells grandmothers how they can pass on a wonderful legacy by having influence that spans generations.
Ruth’s book helps grandparents set good expectations for those relationships.
With family often scattered far and wide, Ruth shows how to maintain thriving relationships even from a distance. After all, she even plays board games with her grandchildren via Zoom.
She said it’s very important that grandchildren be able to see their grandparents’ faces. That way, there is already a comfortable familiarity when face-to-face meetings take place.
Ruth applied a lot of wisdom in answering the question whether grandparents should spoil their grandchildren. They certainly don’t want to instill an entitlement mentality in the youngsters.
Yet, she was very clear regarding the dangers of grandparents ignoring a parent’s direction or overruling a decision. It doesn’t take too many episodes of overruling a parent to create friction in a relationship. If a grandparent thinks it is okay to not follow the parent’s instructions, then kids get the idea they don’t have to obey mom and dad either.
Ruth also provided some great advice regarding when to butt into a situation as well as knowing when to bow out. Sometimes that involves walking a fine line to maintain harmony in a relationship.
The Grandma Club isn’t the only book Ruth has written. She also published a book about caring for a family member with dementia, and written several devotional books pertaining to Christmas and Easter.
I loved the advice she shared from another minister who said “It’s always too soon to quit, but never too late to start.” That’s a good reminder for grandparents, retirees and anyone over 50.
That’s all I have for this week’s show. If you’d like help in identifying a purpose for your life or to get help planning your next steps, I’m offering a complimentary brainstorming session to members of the Forward From 50 Facebook community. For details, connect with me on Facebook or visit www.forwardfrom50.com.
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After closing his business and enduring several painful years of uncertainty regarding what to do with his life, Greg founded Forward From 50 to help men and women over 50 to live more purposeful lives by pursuing things they are passionate about. A Wisconsin native, Greg currently lives in Arizona.