Hi, I’m Pam!

and It’s my honor to help you build great relationships with your grandkids

My grandkids call me “Grams.” I love them to pieces. Currently I have eleven of them ranging from three to thirteen. What I enjoy more than anything is when they share something they just accomplished, or when they reach out to me for advice.

When Sawyer sent me a video of himself mastering the finger snap, I chuckled. Then I sent one back with my poor attempts to snap my fingers. I commiserated with Halle when she called to tell me that her horse bucked her off at the state fair, disqualifying her for the competition. And I cheered when Sydney sent me a video highlighting her home run, as well as a picture of her championship ring.

When my husband and I retired from our respective careers (he was a pastor, and I was a nursing professor), we moved out of our home of 24 years into a fifth-wheel camper. Now we travel between the states where our adult children and grandkids live and spend three-four months hanging out with them. Having grandkids brings us so much joy.

But it didn’t start out that way!   

When I first became a grandma, it was hard to figure out how to fit into their world. Newborns need mama, not grandma. Plus they cried a lot when mama wasn’t around. Also, babysitting several grandkids at the same time was exhausting.

When the grandkids were younger, I put a lot of time into babysitting. I did childcare for almost three years to allow both parents to work full time. (I worked second shift as a floor nurse, so I was available during the day for childcare.) I offered to step in wherever needed to make life easier for my adult children.

Sometimes, when they went home to their parents, I was relieved to see them go. I felt guilty for not loving them enough to have them all the time.

But babysitting was never the end goal.

I did the fun stuff, too. I wanted my grandkids to be pool safe, so I picked them up every day when the weather was nice to spend an hour or two in the neighbors pool. I’ve invited them for sleepovers. My husband and I have hosted “Cousins’ Camps”. We’ve taken them to the zoo and the museums, to plays and to concerts. We’ve pushed our grandkids on swings and played at parks. I wanted them to have amazing memories.

But I wanted to have more than just amazing memories.

I wanted to have a significant relationship with each of my grandkids. Before I was able to have great relationships with them, I had to put in the time and effort to figure out what they needed from me. I needed them to know, like and trust me. But once I was able to establish a foundational relationship with them, I wanted to become a key influence in their lives. I wanted to be a significant part of helping them grow into healthy and productive adults.

Our RV lifestyle has allowed up to deepen the relationships we have with our grandkids by allowing us focused time with them. But traveling in an RV isn’t a requirement for having a great relationship with your grandkids.

You don’t need an RV to build relationships with your grandkids!

I bet you love your grandkids to pieces, too. I bet you’ve put in a lot of babysitting time, filled in when needed, and helped out where you could. I believe that you want to build amazing memories for and with your grandkids. But I suspect you want an even more significant relationship with them as they get older.

My goal is to help those of you who are new grandmas to establish a foundation of trust using simple and effective systems that don’t leave you exhausted. My goal for those of you who already have a strong foundation of trust is to build on that foundation to take your relationship to the next level.

And that’s exactly what Grandkid Toolbox is all about.

My credibility doesn’t come from being an expert on child development–though I worked as both a nurse and an educator for over 20 years. I know a lot about the psychosocial development of humans across the lifespan. My credibility comes from experience in raising four children to be productive and happy adults, being a pastor’s wife for 24 years, working with clients in hospitals as a nurse, teaching adult students as a college professor, and finally, living out what I have learned about building relationships with my own grandkids.

We all want to have close relationships with our grandkids. Let’s work together and discover the tools and strategies that will work.