My Name Is Papa: Practices to Propel Relationships

by | May 27, 2024 | Priorities, Relationships, Video

When I found out that I was going to be a grandfather for the first time, an overwhelming wave of emotion washed over me. This represented not only the start of a new generation but also the continuation of a special bond – the bond between grandparent and grandchild. In that moment, I knew that this relationship would be one of the most precious and profound connections I would ever experience. 

On the arrival of my first beautiful granddaughter, I decided I wanted to be called Papa. Papaw and Grandpa seemed too old for me– no offense to all of the Papaws and Grandpas in the world! 

Now, with four granddaughters filling my life with joy and wonder, I find myself constantly in awe of the privilege bestowed upon me. As a Papa, I am more than just a family member; I am a confidant, a mentor, and a constant source of unconditional love and support. It is a responsibility I take on with great humility and reverence because it’s important to me! 


The Importance of Relationships

Those of you who know me personally know that as much as I enjoy my career, nothing brings me joy and satisfaction like my family. They are the reason for why I do what I do. I believe that good, healthy relationships with friends and family should be a top priority for everyone. 

No matter who you are, you probably have at least a few relationships in your life that mean the world to you, too. Whether it’s your family, your friends, a mentor, or a pupil, you most likely have people in your life that motivate you to be a better person. What do you do to strengthen your relationship with those people, show them how much they mean to you, and make them a priority in your life!

Throughout the course of my life, I’ve had many relationships that hold a lot of significance to me, including my relationship with each of my grandchildren. Through my desire to be the best Papa I can be, I have adopted seven core practices that have become the foundation of my relationships with my granddaughters. As you seek to strengthen your relationships with the people you love, I encourage you to keep these seven principles in mind, and see how your relationships change and grow!


1.  I show them my fun side.

Children are naturally drawn to joy and laughter, and as a Papa, it is my duty to embrace this wholeheartedly. Whether it’s engaging in silly games, telling outrageous stories, or simply being unapologetically goofy, I make it a point to let my granddaughters see the lighthearted, playful side of me. By doing so, I create an environment where they feel safe to be themselves, to explore their imaginations, and to revel in the pure, unbridled joy of childhood.

Everyone needs someone in their life who encourages them to have fun and embrace their childlike sense of wonder. Whether you’re seeking to enrich your relationships with your children, your grandchildren, or even just a friend, having fun and sharing laughter brings people together!


2.  I pray for them each day.

My faith has always been an anchor and a guidepost in my life, and it is a gift I wish to impart to my granddaughters. Each day, I take a moment to offer a prayer for their well-being, their happiness, and their growth. I ask for guidance in being the best Papa I can be and for the strength to support them through life’s inevitable challenges. 


3.  I send them notes several times a year.

In a world dominated by digital communication, there is something truly special about receiving a handwritten note. Several times a year, I take the time to pen heartfelt messages to each of my granddaughters to remind them how much I love them, how proud of them I am, and my hopes for their futures. These notes become cherished keepsakes, tangible reminders of our bond that they can hold onto and revisit whenever they need a reminder of how deeply they are loved.


4.  I know what is going on in their lives.

Being an engaged and present Papa is of the utmost importance to me. I make it a point to stay informed about the various activities, interests, and milestones in each of my granddaughters’ lives. Whether it’s attending their dance recitals, cheering them on at soccer games, or simply listening intently as they recount their daily adventures, I am there, fully present and invested in their worlds.

When you truly care about someone, it means the world to them to have you on the sidelines rooting for them. I mean this literally, but I also mean this metaphorically; your friends and family need to know that when the going gets tough, you will be there to offer a shoulder to cry on, an embrace, a kind word, or any help they may need. By being present in the lives of your loved ones, you make yourself available for when they need you most. 


5.  I encourage them to dream big.

From a young age, I instill in my granddaughters the belief that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. I remind them that their dreams, no matter how lofty or ambitious, are valid and worthy of pursuit. I share stories of my own struggles and triumphs, inspiring them to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. As they navigate life, I know that my grandchildren will encounter failures, setbacks, and mistakes of many kinds; I want them to know that their Papa has, too, and that life goes on! I want them to know that it’s okay to fail, and that failure doesn’t mean it’s time to give up– it just means it’s time to try something new. 


6.  I look for the good in them.

Think of every mentor, teacher, or parental figure you’ve ever had. What makes the fine or good ones stand out from the great ones? Most likely, it’s that they believed in you.

Every child is a unique and precious being, brimming with inherent worth and potential. As their Papa, I want to do everything in my power to celebrate and nurture the good within each of them. I make a conscious effort to recognize and praise their strengths, their kindnesses, and their accomplishments, no matter how small. By doing so, I hope to foster a sense of self-worth and confidence that will serve as a foundation for their future success.


7.  I love them unconditionally.

Above all else, my love for my granddaughters is unwavering and absolute. It doesn’t matter what they do or what mistakes they make; I am always ready to receive them with open arms and forgiveness. They don’t have to do anything, say anything, or be anything to earn my love- I love them just the way they are!

I make it abundantly clear that no matter what challenges or missteps they may face, my love for them is unshakable and eternal. This level of support creates a sense of trust between my grandchildren and I. Do your friends and family feel like they have to earn your love and acceptance, or do you give it freely without stipulations? 


Prioritizing Relationships

Upon reflecting on these seven practices, it becomes clear that grandparents can have a significant positive impact on their grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents are not merely passive observers, but active guides, trusted confidants, and reliable sources of unconditional love and support. The relationships formed between grandparents and grandchildren shape the grandchildren’s character, values, and worldview in ways that reverberate through future generations.

To my fellow grandparents- Papas, Papaws, and Grandpas alike- I appeal to you to cherish the relationships you have with your grandchildren. Treat them with great importance, and devote as much of your time, attention, and affection to them as you can. Embrace the opportunity to be a positive influence in your grandchildren’s lives, as the investment made today will yield long-lasting benefits beyond what can be initially anticipated.  

For those aiming to strengthen relationships with loved ones- whether grandchildren, children, or parents- the path forward is straightforward: make your relationships a priority! At the end of our lives, our success and money will fade, but the impact we’ve made on our loved ones will outlive us. 

Ultimately, our relationships are the true measures of our lives and the enduring legacies we leave behind. We should wholeheartedly embrace these bonds, nurture them diligently, and find fulfillment in the joy they provide. By doing so, we not only enrich our own lives but also pave the way for future generations by creating an unbreakable tapestry of love, laughter, and robust relationships that will endure long after we are gone.

If you want to learn more about me, the lessons I’ve learned from the various relationships in my life, and my journey as a businessman and entrepreneur, check out my YouTube channel! I put out videos every week designed to help you take control of your life, your time, and your productivity. 

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