Book Review: Dreams for your Grandchild


Dreams for your Grandchild by Allen Hunt is both a lovely book and a practical book. Subtitled, The Hidden Power of a Catholic Grandparent, the book is a mixture of exhortation, relevant suggestions, and inspiring stories.

Writing a book about the relationship between Catholic grandparents and their grandchildren is as challenging as writing about any other family dynamic. Families and their situations vary so much that any one-size-fits-all approach is bound to be so vague as to be nearly useless, while targeted advice will necessarily be inapplicable by many people.

In Dreams for your Grandchild, Allen Hunt has managed to locate the commonalities across a wide variety of circumstances. Some grandchildren live with their grandparents or see them nearly every day, while others live at great distance apart and see one another face-to-face rarely. Some grandchildren of Catholic grandparents are being raised in the faith by parents who welcome the grandparent’s involvement in nurturing their children in the faith, while others are being raised by parents who themselves have left the practice of their own parent’s faith or may even be opposed to it. Some grandparents are retired and have both the time and the means to be involved in their grandchildren’s activities, others have just entered the years of their greatest career responsibility and productivity, and still others are struggling to make ends meet in a market that has left their skills behind. Some grandparents still have their spouses, while others are widowed or divorced.

Regardless these varying circumstances, Allen Hunt wants you Catholic grandparents to know that your place in the lives of your grandchildren is irreplaceable and vital in the development of their characters, their emotional health, and their spirituality and faith. Allen refers to studies at Oxford University and Boston College that have found better outcomes in a number of life dimensions among children who spend time with their grandparents. He summarizes: “Grandparents give unconditional love and support. They offer advice and problem-solving and share their skills and passions…. Your love builds the foundation for your grandchildren’s happy life.”

Along with prayers and creative ideas, Dreams for your Grandchild offers many timeless tips for sharing the Catholic faith with grandchildren: helping them to see themselves in relation to God, passing along habits of prayer and appreciation of the sacraments, and establishing or continuing family traditions. It also offers up-to-date tips for making judicious use of social media, texting, Skyping, etc. to stay in touch and involved with grandchildren, especially when separated by distance.

Allen Hunt is unflagging in encouragement: “There is a great tug-of-war on as the culture seeks to overwhelm your grandchild. As a grandparent, you must never give up. You must be willing to be the anchor and strength in your family… Step up. Make the plans. Led the way.”

Dreams for your Grandchild is a wonderful enriching resource for any grandparent, whether you are brand-new to grandparenting or already surrounded with a dozen grandblessings. It would be the perfect gift for any grandparents in your life at Christmas or any time.