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Parenting Great Kids Podcast - Episode 155

The Heart of Grandparenting

with guest Dr. Ken Canfield

Hosted by Dr. Meg Meeker | February 7, 2022 | 40:40 min.

Episode 155 | Dr. Ken Canfield and Dr. Meg Meeker – both involved grandparents themselves – impart wisdom and insight in this episode, as they share real-life experiences and essential keys to help navigate the joys and difficulties of grand-parenting.
Dr. Ken Canfield-Podcast Meeker

Today's Guest(s)

Dr. Canfield has served as a consultant to media, national, stateand community leaders—often in partnership with his wife, Michelle. Ken hastestified to the National Commission of Children (1990), served as a foundingmember of the Father to Father Initiative (1995-2000) and the NationalFatherhood Leaders Group (2002-2006). He has been recognized for his leadershipand was awarded the Father of the Year (1993) by the National Congress for Menand Children, the Most Outstanding Alumnus Award (2006) from his alma mater,Friends University, and the Polish Presidential Medal of Honor (2007).

Dr. Canfield has keynoted and presented at dozens of state andcommunity conferences including in California, Florida, Indiana and Kansas. Inaddition, he has taught his “7 Secrets of Effective Fathers” two-day conferenceto over 125,000 fathers in a variety of community centers as well as militaryand faith-based settings. 

He is the author of numerous articles, both popular andscientific. His work has appeared in Psychological ReportsEducationaland Psychological MeasurementsThe World and IParentsToday’sBetter LifeLiving with Children and New Man. He is theauthor of twelve books, including The 7 Secrets of Effective FathersTheHeart of a FatherThe Adventures of Fatherhood Series, and TheyCall Me Dad, as well as several book chapters in collaborative texts.

Besides publishing, Canfield has been heard on a daily weekdayradio commentary, Today’s Father, which he began in 1993 and aired onover 600 stations nationwide. His most recent radio program, Grands Matter,focuses on the important role grandparents fulfill in the family.  He hasbeen interviewed on The Oprah Winfrey Show (twice), NBC’s Today Show,ABC’s World News TonightFocus on the Family700 Club,and numerous other radio and television programs.

In 2016 he founded the National Association for Grandparenting, (, focusing on therole of grandfathers and his book, The H.E.A.R.T of Grandparenting, waspublished in the fall of 2018.

Dr. Canfield believes that fathers and grandparents are untappedresources and needed additions to strengthen the American family. “With complexfamily issues and life opportunities all fathers and grandparents must wrestlewith the questions: ‘What is my purpose, and how am I fulfilling it in myfamily—emotionally, relationally and spiritually?’” 

Dr. Canfield has 5 adult children (three daughters and two sons),three sons-in-law, one daughter in-law and fourteen grandchildren. He ismarried to Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield ( and they residein Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Grandparenting is different now than it has been in past generations. Many households require two incomes and, with both parents often working outside the home, grandparents tend to fill the gap in taking care of the kids. While this gives grandparents a special window into their grandkids’ lives, it can be tricky in that they must follow the parameters set by their adult children in how they want their children to be raised – often different from generation to generation. Dr. Meg, along with her guest, Dr. Ken Canfield – both involved grandparents themselves – impart wisdom and insight as they share real-life experiences and discuss essential keys to help navigate the joys and difficulties of grandparenting. 


So much of being a good grandparent is being a good parent all over again to your adult children. A strong relationship with your adult child will have a big impact on your relationship with your grandkids. In part one of this episode, Dr. Canfield, who authored the book, “The Heart of Grandparenting,” discusses the importance of reconciliation between generations. Grandparents often desire a “do-over” of their own parenting years, as they realize the mistakes they made, and want to help their adult children do better with their kids. However, grown children don’t always want to listen to advice from their parents, especially when it comes to raising their own children. This creates a tension that needs to be carefully navigated, and Dr. Canfield shares tips with grandparents on how to successfully do so.


Continuing their conversation on grandparenting, Dr. Meg and Dr. Canfield discuss generational synchrony – the unique relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. If a grandchild knows how their grandparent met their spouse, where they went to school, what they did for a living, and so forth, it helps with their identity formation and gives them a sense of belonging. Children seem to thrive when they have a generational connection with a grandparent, and grandparents have a special opportunity to teach and help shape their grandkids in a way that could benefit them throughout their lifetime. 


Thanks for listening to Episode #155, THE HEART OF GRANDPARENTING, and for helping Dr. Meg’s parenting revolution reach more than FIVE MILLION downloads!

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