How To Talk To Grandchildren

By Dr. James Dobson

How To Talk To Grandchildren

Question: Dr. Dobson, I have seven grandchildren that I think are just wonderful, but I don’t know how to talk to them when we are together. It has been a long time since I was young. How can I engage these kids in conversation and draw them to me? What should I talk to them about?

Answer: Children love to talk about fun things and funny things. They love to play games and solve puzzles and look at pictures. When you interject yourself into their world at these and other points of interest, and if you aren’t cranky and demanding, they will open themselves to you. All you have to do is give them your time and attention. Then you won’t be able to keep them off your lap!

Now, concerning what you should talk about with your grandchildren: One of the most important contributions you can make is to teach them about your family’s early history, about the obstacles your family overcame and what has made their stories unique. Education consultant and author Cheri Fuller applied the lyrics of an old African song to this responsibility. It included this line: “When an old person dies, it’s as if a library burns down.” You are the “library” for your grandchildren, being able to connect them with their past. It is your obligation and privilege, I believe, to give them a sense of identity within the family.

My great-grandmother helped raise me during my early years. When I was just three or four years old, I remember her telling me stories about her life on the frontier. She told me how she would sit in her log cabin at night and hear the mountain lions come down from the hillside looking for the pigs. She would describe fascinating experiences that helped me understand how different life was then. The time we spent together bonded us to one another. The stories she told me then are still vivid in my memory. They helped open my mind to a love of history, a subject that still fascinates me to this day.

I suggest you gather your grandkids around and start telling them stories about your past—of your courtship with their grandmother, what she looked like, and why you fell in love with her. Then tell them how you came to a relationship with Jesus Christ and what that did for you. I think you’ll find your little ones will be eating out of your hand.

Pastoral Ministry: We Languish for Men


Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” —Acts 21:13

The Church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men….

We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within—or from above.

This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation. Of God and Men, 11-13.

“Lord, what would it take for me to be that kind of man? Do in me whatever work You need to do today, that I might die to the allurements of the world and serve You with high motives. Amen.”