What is it about the relationship between grandparent and grandchild that causes our child's wellbeing to improve? Here's the answer.
Grandparents play an important role in the lives of our children. It's important for children to not just bond with their parents but also with their grandparents. It turns out that grandparents play a vital role in our children's lives, and they contribute greatly to our children's wellbeing. Research even shows that grandparents are increasing their role in our children's lives as life expectancy and dual-worker households increase.
In fact, a study conducted by Professor Ann Buchanan from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention shows that of the over 1,500 children in the study, those with more grandparent involvement resulted in less behavioral and emotional problems.
So, why is this? What is it about the relationship between grandparent and grandchild that causes our child's wellbeing to improve? Well, here are 4 reasons why that is.
4 - Grandparents Embrace A Positive Role
Grandparents are another source of unconditional love, except they have the added benefit of patience. Because they are not around their grandchildren as much as parents are, they have more time to focus on giving their grandchildren attention with a sense of patience that most parents run out of after yelling at their children for the tenth time.
Grandparents also bend the rules for their grandchildren. They might let their grandchildren go to bed later, or give them extra treats, or even spoil them a little extra.
The amount of influence a grandparent has on a child is immense. According to Wilmington Parent, studies showed that "as many as 9 out of 10 adult grandchildren [felt] that their grandparents influenced their beliefs and values."
This comes out of the unwavering support and emotional intimacy that exists in the relationship. But more than that, the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild has the ability to shape what a child considers a healthy relationship for the rest of their lives.
3 - Grandparents Provide A Sense Of Security
Grandparents aren't usually subject to disciplining their grandchildren. That job usually remains with you, the parent. Of course, this puts them in a role in which they can listen to their grandchildren without judgment or criticism. Instead, they are afforded the opportunity to calm their grandchildren by giving them a shoulder to cry on or possible solutions.
More than that, children typically feel less stress when they are around their grandparents because, according to a study by the University of Hertfordshire, "Time spent with grandparents [is] a calm time, in which few demands [are] made of them." On the other hand, at home, children are expected to do their chores or homework. With their grandparents, they are able to relax without those added responsibilities.
2 - Grandparents Reduce Stress All Around
As mentioned, children are less stressed when they are spending time with their grandparents. But this relationship does more than just reduce the stress during that time. Grandparents often love their role, and are generally less stressed and less likely to develop symptoms of depression because of it. It's like when you find a job you love; despite the hard work, the stress won't be as noticeable if you enjoy the work.
Grandparents aren't the only ones that are less likely to have symptoms of depression. Children benefit from this as well when they share a close relationship with their grandparents.
Parents may also benefit from a reduction in stress if grandparents are able to take care of their children while they're working in place of putting their children in daycare. In addition to the lack of cost that this option affords, it also gives parents comfort knowing that their children are in safe and capable hands. After all, they were raised by the same people taking care of their children.
1 - Grandparents Share Skills & Lifelong Knowledge
Grandparents have a lifetime of knowledge and experience that they are more than excited to share with their grandchildren. While children may not often listen to their parents or other adults, there is something different about their bond with their grandparents that leaves them enthralled by the stories they're told. And some of these stories may include the family's culture and history, which allows children to know where they came from.
It's not just knowledge that grandparents love to share. They also love sharing their skills, such as baking cookies or doing jigsaw puzzle. Again, grandparents have a level of patience that parents often strive for but never attain, and this allows them to teach children with more understanding. Most of the time, children are taught new skills by their grandparents simply because children decide to join in on whatever their grandparents are doing rather than being pressured to do it. This makes children more willing to learn.
Essentially, children often rely on their grandparents to help them grow up healthy and happy. So it's important to nurture this relationship with your own child.