Study Claims That Bond Between Grandparents and Grandchildren Has Health Benefits for Both

In this modern age, where both parents are working full-time jobs with longer hours, the number of grandparents helping to raise grandchildren is increasing rapidly. For many adults, the “intrusion” of grandparents can be annoying because they may feel that it’s their children, and they know what’s best for them.”

But if you have doubts about whether or not to allow you, parents, to participate in the upbringing of your child, will enable us to tip the scales in favor of the care and love that only grandparents can deliver to your children.

Grandparents are good for your health.

Many cultural and social situations take place today that have strengthened the relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren. This is mainly because of the number of households where both parents work full-time jobs is continuing to grow. Additionally, the family disintegration rate is also rising. Because of this, there are several studies dedicated to investigating the connection between the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren as well as the welfare of the latter.

A unique study carried out by the University of Oxford found that frequent contact and loving connections between grandparents and their grandchildren generate emotional and social well-being in the children. This bond serves to protect grandchildren from problems with development that they would otherwise face alone as well as boosts their social and cognitive abilities. Plus, “close relationships between grandparents and grandchildren buffered the effects of adverse life events, like parental separation, because it calmed the children down,” says Dr. Eirini Flouri, one of the authors of the study.

Being close isn’t enough; you also have to be involved.

The conclusions were found, thanks to the analysis of 1.596 children of different ages in England and Wales which evaluated different factors such as the grandparents’ age, socioeconomic status, and the level of closeness in the relationship. They also conducted 40 in-depth interviews with children from different backgrounds. These surveys, in addition to revealing the health benefits that this bond brings, also displayed an overview of the importance of these relationships as they relate to our society as a whole since nearly a third of maternal grandmother provide regular care for their grandchildren, and 40 percent provide occasional help via childcare.

The study mainly focused on children who were just about to enter their teenage years, those who, surprisingly and contrary to what many believe, accept the relationship with their grandparents with great love and satisfaction. What’s the reason for this? The survey shows that today’s grandparents often have more time than parents to help young children in their activities. Plus, this puts them in a better position that gives them greater confidence to talk with their grandchildren about any problems they have going on in their lives. However, emotional closeness is only part of the equation. Grandparents need to be involved in their grandchildren’s education and help solve youth problems, as well as talk to teens about their future plans.

The benefits grandchildren bring to grandparents

The bonds and relationships that grandparents and grandchildren have can also be beneficial to the well-being of older adults. A study by the Institute of Gerontology at the School of Social and Public Policy in London discovered that the grandparent-grandchild relationship is strongly associated with the quality of life older adults have regarding their health. This means that grandparents, mainly grandmothers, who provide care for their grandchildren, enjoy improved physical health. The study also highlighted the importance of leading a relationship that does not burden the grandparents with too many responsibilities while allowing them to lead a life without significant concerns. Otherwise, it could cause depression.

The research was the culmination of 5 years worth of official data from 8,972 women and 6,567 men living int he countries of Belgium, Austria, Greece, Sweeden, the Netherlands,Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy, and France who were 50 years of age or older, and who had one or more grandchildren at the start of the study.

We believe that the help and guidance of those who raised us and can now help us raise our children is something that should always be welcomed.

How close were you to your grandparents? What is the relationship like between your children and their grandparents? We would love to hear your opinions and personal experiences. Also, please be sure to share this story with your friends and family.