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‘Grandparenting intentionally is based on love.’ 4 ways to be an intentional nana

Here are some ways to start grandparenting intentionally.

If you want to be a more present grandma, an involved grandma, a genuine and service-oriented grandma, be intentional. Intention is a word with many meanings, but at its core, living intentionally means you’re living a connected, beautiful life.

Studio 5 Contributor Mary Jo Bell shared how nana’s can live intentionally.


“Nanas are the gatekeepers. They’re the matriarchs. They’ve got this ability to reach into hearts in a very unique and special way.”

Legacy Statements

“Life is the flicker of a candle.” This short statement from a grandparent stuck with Mary Jo and impacted her for decades. It made her realize that life is short and needs to be lived with intentionality. Nanas can leave their grandchildren with golden words that sink into their hearts. These can be testimonies of faith, philosophical statements, or even poems. These are words and phrases that will be associated with them, even after they pass.

Mary Jo has her own legacy statement. Anytime her grandkids leave her home, she recites this poem with them: “My Nana has to go away, but she’ll be back most any day. At any moment I may see my Nana coming back to me.”

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, Mary Jo believes “Intentionality in grandparenting is based on love.”

L: Love

O: Observe

V: Validate

E: Encourage

Find more from Mary Jo online at

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