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Are You Preparing to be Near Your Future Grandchildren

Jeff:
A topic we want to chat about, or a challenge we have for you today is, are you preparing to be near your future grandchildren? Now, of course this isn’t possible for every single person. But again, there’s these things where, are we planning? Are we preparing? Is there an ideal that we’re pointed towards? And then we let the chips fall where they may.

So, preparing to be near your future grandchildren. Jeremy, I’m interested to hear you think. Why this is important, what the point is, if there’s any data here. I know you have an article here in the notes, but I’m trying to think of that other one that we posted in Five Minute Fatherhood a couple months ago where there’s, yeah, there is data to support even if a grandmother’s around. I don’t think it was talking about even living there, but if a grandmother’s in your home more, that does things to your kid’s mental health, that does things to the mom’s mental health, and sustainability, and flourishing, and all these different things. So, there’s a lot. This conversation is bubbling up, which is really fascinating. But yeah, what would you say on this one?

Jeremy:
Yeah, you guys, when we talk about the importance of the Bible really articulating a vision of family that is multi-generational. When we say that, we’re saying that God designed it so that the generations would interact. And we live in a culture that just does not value that very much. If you see your grandparents three or four times a year, we’re like, “That’s cool. That’s good enough.” And for some families, we get it. Maybe the upstream generations, things aren’t super healthy. But every one of us can be thinking about going downstream. Is it in our heads, in our hearts, in our vision that we want to be around our grandchildren, and do we want to be really presenting that vision?

So I love it when I see data sort of trying to research the impact of this. And it says, so in the University of Oxford, Professor Buchanan did a case study of 1,600 children between the ages of 11 and 16. And that says that growing up with grandparents who live nearby provides greater security in respect to those children who only grew up with their parents. This is some of what this describes. “Grandparents are able to transmit great emotional security to their grandchildren, and have a positive impact on all aspects of their lives. Think of their importance, even in the presence of divorces or family conflicts. Often in these situations, the grandparents are those who most function as support and refuge for their grandchildren, and act as a pillow on which they can always lean and rest and shelter from everything. This is because grandparents greatly alleviate the burden of those parents who are perhaps working full-time and therefore prefer to entrust their children to their care rather than strangers. Moreover, grandparents offer concrete and affordable help based on care and attention that is full of sincere affection.”

So, guys, family is really challenging. We don’t know what kinds of crises, what kinds of events are going to happen in our lives. We need a greater amount of stability. There’s sort of a vision that our culture sort of is presenting, which is every person is an individual, and then the government will provide sort of a security blanket for each individual. This will allow us to be completely self-sufficient from `family. So that’s one vision, and that’s a vision that our culture is really pursuing in many ways.

But another vision is that God designed us to live in a network of a strong family network that includes upstream and downstream generations. And all of us can be really cultivating the kind of family culture that will allow us to experience, allow us and our grandchildren to experience that kind of a support from us. So have you thought that through? A lot of the times we talk about even your career pathing, where you live. How big of a deal is it that you want to be available to be a real bulwark or pillar in the lives of your grandchildren? That’s a vision that is really, I think it’s important to make concrete and practical as you’re raising your family. But yeah, Jeff, any other thoughts you’ve had on this one?

Jeff:
No, I just agree, and I think it’s so super important. And yeah, when you do get in that orb and that web of networking close, you see just the million intangible ways that it’s also really practical, and helpful, and meant to be that way. So of course, even us, half of my family. My family lives in Washington, Alyssa’s parents live here. So there’s a level at which, “Man, I wish we were all here, but we can’t be. There’s different circumstances and all that stuff. I miss my family and love my family. Wish we were there.” There’s so many different ways this can play out. But I think the question is just, are you even pursuing it? Is that ideal? Because so many of us, we usually do the opposite. We turn our backs and run, and that’s what I think we need to make sure, that even the data’s supporting that that’s not helpful.

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