Grandparents can play a vital role in their grandchildren's lives. A healthy and strong relationship with Grandparents can help develop children's neurological capabilities, emotional intelligence and insight. Because grandparents are not in the role of parent, they may have more energy and time to give their grandchildren undivided attention, helpful opinions and emotional support, which is incredibly valuable. But of course receiving the best squeezy, squishy cuddles ever is right on the top of the list!
#1. Increase in Emotional Intelligence
Grandparents have the know-how to fill in the gaps for overworked or single parents. In a study conducted in the United Kingdom, researchers found that children who spent more time with their grandparents were at a decreased risk for having emotional and behavioural issues, and were far better off in terms of their emotional intelligence, compared to children who did not have grandparents involved in their lives. If you want happy children able to process emotions, invite grandpa over for a snack.
#2. Nurture Happiness
Grandparents have an almost magical ability to make their grandchildren smile. Images of grandma playing the tickle monster or grandpa dominating a game of tag spring to mind. Parents, especially those with younger children, may quite frequently be running on empty, desperate for a shower, a snack that does not include goldfish crackers, or five minutes of absolute silence. In situations where the grandparents are not living in the same home as their grandchildren, spending time with them may feel extra special for both parties. Grandparents may also be retired and have more energy and patience when they are playing with younger children, plus parents can indulge in a rare and much needed breather. It's a win for everybody.
#3. Encourage Pro-Social Behaviour
Who knew that time spent with grandma or grandpa equals a sweet kid who kicks butt in school? Grandparents financial and emotional support was shown to increase their grandchild's pro-social behaviour, as well as their school engagement, even with a follow up a year later. This study focused on 10 to 14 year old’s, in both single and two parent families. Regardless of the type of family, grandparent involvement led to an increase in kind, empathetic behaviour. An adolescent that is considerate toward others and engaged in school, now that is reason to celebrate!
#4. Decrease in Depressive Symptoms
The power of the mighty grandparent even impacts depressive symptoms! A close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren has been linked to a decrease in symptoms of depression for all parties. Grandparents in the study noted that they felt like they were able to support their grandchildren, especially because they understood what they were experiencing. This study illustrates the powerful connection between grandparent and grandchild.
#5. Sharing Family History
Grandparents have amazing access to family history that many parents may be unaware of. Teaching grandchildren about where they come from, as well as the struggles and successes of the family helps grandchildren better understand their family's unique history. Grandparents may have old family heirlooms to pass down, like photo albums, secret family recipes and interesting treasures that grandchildren would certainly enjoy. Grandparents who share their stories are able to keep their memories alive, which for many older individuals, is incredibly important.
#6. Best Hugs Ever
There is just something special about a good hug that comes from grandma or grandpa. Not only do hugs feel awesome, but they also release oxytocin for both people who are embracing. That means that when grandma gives her grandkid a squeeze, both of their brains release this feel-good neurotransmitter that brings up feelings of love, connection and bonding.
#7. Learning About Their Parents
Grandparents offer a window into the lives of their grandchildren's parents. For many grandchildren, there is a natural curiosity about when, where and how their parents grew up. Grandparents can offer funny anecdotes that parents may not even recall about their upbringing. These are gold. These memories can help a child better understand their parents, while connecting with their grandparents over story time.
#8. Understanding a New Skill Set
Grandparents certainly lived in a different time compared to their grandchildren. The skills they may have acquired along the way may be of interest to their grandchildren. They may enjoy teaching skills such as sewing, cooking, baking, and wood working to their grandchildren, resulting in some major quality time.
#9. Encouraging Family Bonds
Spending time with grandparents fosters intergenerational family connection. This opens the door for grandparents and grandchildren to learn about maintaining relationships with people who differ greatly in age. Many lessons can be learned along the way of forging this special relationship.
#10. Unconditional Love
Grandparents can offer their grandchildren unconditional love, that may result in lots of presents, baked goods and special outings. Because grandparents are not in the role of parent, they may have more energy and time to give their grandchildren undivided attention, helpful opinions and emotional support, which is incredibly valuable. So, tell me again, why spend time with the Grandparents??? It is pretty clear that time spent with good old grandma and grandpa is sure to lead to some hardcore fun, not to mention some pretty incredible mental shifts. Whether they are teaching their grandkids how to cook, encouraging them to be kind individuals, or destroying them in a board game, experiences with them usually leave their grandkids feeling warm and fuzzy.