Are you a grandparent? Then a new book by Mark Gregston should be on your required reading list.

There may be no better resource on the unique contribution of grandparents to their families than Leaving a Legacy of Hope: Offering Your Grandchildren What No One Else Can.


The title may seem a bit generic, but the content is not. Gregston – himself “Poppa” to four – offers insights that are both practical and profound. His wisdom is grounded in the Scripture and seasoned by three decades of running Heartlight Ministries, a Christian residential counseling center for struggling teens. No doubt, his long career dealing with difficult teen issues has forged Gregston’s admonitions into valuable counsel that is long on realism, love, and humor, and short on sentimentality.

Gregston wants grandparents to understand the costly influence they can have in the lives of their children’s children, especially as they traverse the teen years. That relationship requires that grandparents focus on encouragement, listening, laughing, and being interested in what’s important in their grandchildren’s lives.

In one of his most insightful pieces of advice, Gregston writes that as their grandkids approach the teen years, grandparents must “switch models of influence from teaching to training.”

For example: Quit doing everything for them; allow them to make their own decisions even if they risk failure; ask more questions and give fewer answers, and stop lecturing and start discussing.   

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