Q: We are not sure what to do with our grandchildren. Two of them are coming to our farm from the city while their parents are attending a workshop.
We are afraid the kids are going to have six long and boring days with us and will not likely want to come back for visits in the future.
We sold our animals a few years ago and have rented out our land so that we can retire. We have nothing here.
These kids are heavy into computers and stuff and won’t have much use for that old relic Papa uses in his den to check his emails. He thinks that we should buy some electronic stuff for the kids, but I am not sure how we are going to go about getting the right gadgets for them.
Do you have any suggestions for us?
A: I would not spend a lot of money on electronic equipment. The kids will be bringing their own games, cellphones and iPads with them.
If you managed to find the right electronic games and gadgets to buy for your grandchildren this year, you would only have to replace them with new gadgets next year. The electronic world is a whirlwind. Keeping up to all of the changes in electronic devices for the grandchildren could be more expensive than you might realize.
You sound like you are short selling yourselves. Have you forgotten what a wonderful place the farm can be for young children?
Those good times you had with your own children are still there for your grandchildren.
Who could forget carving bows and arrows and slingshots out of caragana branches, skating on the dugout, defying the Canada Food Guide with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and warm soda pop to keep you going while building a snow fort in the bushes. The farm is a gold mine for resourceful children.
Your grandchildren have grown up in the city. They are not familiar with the country. They might need you and your husband to help them discover a new and wonderful world for themselves. With a little help from you, they too can find it.
Of course none of this makes sense unless you and Papa have your own moment of excitement. Country life is more than just nice: it is thrilling.
You are not competing. This is not urban versus rural. Your grandchildren likely have a rewarding life in the city.
Add to that the mystery of what nature has to offer them on the farm and they have another chunk of enrichment in their lives. Does it get any better?
Jacklin Andrews is a family counsellor from Saskatchewan. Contact: [email protected]