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Recently I wrote about five things grandparents wish their grandkids knew. Now let's visit the other end of the teeter-totter. It’s a time for the grandkids to talk to their grandparents.

Usually we think about grandparents imparting advice to grandchildren, but we’ve learned that grandkids have something to say. Here are five things grandchildren wish their grandparents knew:

Times change and not all new ideas or practices are wrong or threatening. Sometimes grandparents lock themselves into only one way of thinking or doing. That’s good when it comes to unchanging moral matters. It’s not so good when it comes to cultural preferences. Youth need room to grow and grandparents should create the freedom for that growth, like taking the jar off a hothouse plant grown too large for its environment.

Life in community is just as pleasing to God as individualism. This youth generation, so-called Millennials or Generation Y, are more tuned in to relationships and connectivity than most of their forebears. Add the Internet to this and you have a worldwide phenomenon.

Not all young people are going down the tubes spiritually. If grandparents spend much time watching the nightly news you’d forgive them for thinking America’s youth are mostly thugs. But this is not true. There are thousands of youth who want to learn right, love right, and live right.

Environmental stewardship is not a liberal issue but a Christian issue. This generation is environmentally conscious like none before it, and they should be, for we are all God’s farmers.

Only authenticity is authentic. Millennial grandchildren are postmodern grandchildren. They’ve come of age in a chaotic, uncertain world. Nothing seems to make sense. They don’t trust institutions or even groups as much as their grandparents did. Millennials hunger for relationships with people of integrity. Godly grandparents may not understand everything about the latest techno-gadget, but they do know a great deal about living--and that wisdom is what's missing in many young adults' fractured family experiences, morally relativistic education, and highly materialistic culture. Some, maybe more than we give them credit for, are smart enough to know this and are looking for authenticity.

Grandkids may be young, but they’re not without wisdom. Listen to them, grandparents.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

Revised “Making a Difference” program #419 originally recorded September 28, 2005.

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