You may ask what being a grandparent has to do with Feng Shui. My answer is, ‘Feng Shui is our reaction to the environment.’ Family is a piece of the puzzle.

Reflect back to when you heard you were becoming a grandparent, or fantasize about what it will be like. Did you or will you think, “I’m not ready for this?” Or, were you like (or will you be like) me … so excited? The honor of a new life in our family meant many things, and I couldn’t help but also daydream at the prospect of playing again, and freedoms I didn’t feel I had as a parent. It is said that ‘once a man, twice a child;’ (Rabbis) -- meaning we are born and die with limited mental capabilities, yet live as adults once. While debatable, you get the concept.

Growing up, I did not want to hear how my parents walked a mile in snow to go to school. Certainly, our children don’t want to hear the ‘same old’ from us. In most cases, they can’t relate. Actually, my mother never went to school. She was in an Australian adoption home, never feeling wanted (and before education and ‘school’ was mandated). Dad left home at 16 to join the service because his father passed, and his Mother couldn’t afford five children during the depression (one with a disability). As far as grandparents, I only knew one. She came to live with us following an auto accident, and on a good day she tolerated us.

Before both my parents passed, I asked each if we could go through pictures. Mom was an amateur photographer so she was delighted to dig the photos out. This endeavor was one of the most memorable times I had with them. Instead of asking what the pictures were … I asked what they were going through at the time, who their support group was, and what their joys and fears were. After all, we all have heavy boots to wear (something to learn, ways that we suffer). My parents met during World War II and my uncles all served. The reality is that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual (whether a parent, sibling, spouse, or parent). The questions I asked my parents were open ended, and invoked a bigger-picture explanation. Their answers provided a real glimpse into their lives.

So, this article is about children. We can ask ourselves how our lives would be different “if.” We can’t go back (at least not yet) so it is our duty to go forward. Learn from the past and don’t make the same mistakes. My first pregnancy was an ectopic one so I never saw my child. My second born was my daughter (who eventually passed over). Keeping a long story short, decades later, my granddaughter was born. Gems that I have learned and want to share with you are listed below in a short list. It’s not necessarily inclusive, and it is a place to start. Remember, our youth is our future. Help create it!

Eight Feng Shui ways to Be a Grandparent:

1. When viewing a picture of your grandchild, ask them what is going on in their life (friends, bullies, teachers they like, teachers they don’t (and why to both), etc.) rather than about the picture itself.
2. Encourage them to be all they can be. Limitations will reveal themselves as your grandchild grows. Remember to include lost arts such as manners, and contributions such as chores (see article
3. Teach them that money is a tool, not an end to a means. That being said, also teach them how to manage money -- balance a checkbook, save, and avoid debt.
4. Set an example of acceptance. This might be an act of kindness every day to a stranger or neighbor. Let them see that everyone deserves respect.
5. Actions speak louder than words.
a. When you help others, take your grandchild with you.
b. When you volunteer (soup kitchen, food bank, clothing drive, picking up trash, etc.), take them with you.
c. When you vote, take them with you.
d. Let them know their action and words make a difference. Complaining isn’t productive—instead, action discloses ways that works (or are discoveries in and of themselves). Coach them that wounds may heal but unkind words last forever—what we put into the world comes back to us.
e. Consider a change of perspective (make another city or country available). A change of environment can be eye opening.
6. Educate them that instant gratification is temporary.
a. Each person needs to learn their own truth and purpose. That means reading, processing, problem solving, and learning.
b. Technology (TV, the internet, iPods, etc.) occupies us but what has it really made better? Information can be controlled and manipulated. Take your grandchildren into nature and explore the wonders there. Seek other people to expand your horizons.
c. Enroll your grandchildren in growing, cooking, and shopping for healthy food.
d. Tutor them on what is good for Mother Earth (what is meant by sustainable, renewable, and attuning to the environment). It is rewarding to reuse, renew, and recycle.
7. Persuade them to write their own legacy—begin with the end in mind. Each one of us has an innate desire to make a difference. Ask your grandchild how they want to be remembered, and be supportive when the story changes.
8. Love them unconditionally. Let them know that no matter what happens, you are there for them.

There are wonderful books these days that offer more ideas, but I hope this has provided tips on ‘being’ with a grandchild. It is easy to get caught up in doing and buying, but ‘being’ means sharing ourselves.

Have you ever heard, “I’ll be a better parent than you were!”? A great response to that is, “Good, you got it! We’re supposed to learn as we grow.” As you’ve heard before, ‘We did not inherit the Earth of our forefathers, we inherited it from our children’ (Crazy Horse). It reinforces the notion that we need to do things differently.

Here are a couple resource books I recommend: Grandmother’s Memories to Her Grandchild by Thomas Kinkade; and Lists to Live By, by Alice Gray, Steve Stephens, and John Van Diest. They apply whether you are a Grandmother or Grandfather.

In conclusion, when people want to know what Feng Shui is, to me it is ultimately feeling safe and secure in my environment. My husband and I collect our granddaughter a couple times a month for an extended visit. We play, read, explore, and talk. It is a sacred time and an absolute joy. Hope for the future depends on what we make of today. It isn’t up to one leader, one nation, or one relationship. It is up to us!

Author's Bio: 

Diana Garber’s experience entails decades of risk management, Feng Shui, and management at Fortune 100 companies. Her highly-respected consulting practice celebrated ten years in 2008. For more information about this article or for a free telephone consultation, please call 866-689-6891 or visit our website at