There are many types of grandparents including the kind that knit, sew, garden, and bake with their grandchildren, and are always available to pitch in to babysit. There are adventurous grandparents, sporty grandparents, artistic, and scholarly ones. Scientific research has found that not only are kids a grandparent bond happier, but they are also healthier too.
With greater longevity and a longer healthspan, more older adults are staying quite physically active and involved in their communities. With many families requiring two incomes to stay afloat, the role of grandparent has expanded in recent years. Beyond sharing wisdom and life experience with the next generations, grandparents themselves benefit from a strong relationship with grandchildren.
Having purpose and a sense of belonging are so important to age well. Recent research published in The Gerontologist, found that a solid bond between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduced depressive symptoms in both groups. Grandparents have the ability to offer a sympathetic and compassionate ear when children and their parents are in disagreement. While teenagers may refuse to listen to their parents, a grandparent may be able to offer support and advice that will be better received.
According to a recent BonViral post, grandparents also connect grandchildren with their family heritage and help to develop a child’s sense of identity. Grandparents are in a unique position to develop a close relationship with their grandchildren they may not have had with their own children when their role was to set boundaries and keep tabs on school, diet, and health. Grandparents can become excellent mentors and role models, teaching by example to be resilient and live according to their values.
In an uncertain world, children may become anxious about the future. Having the stability of involved grandparents can help provide kids with a sense of security and unconditional love when life throws them a curveball. Grandparents can draw from their own experiences to help kids through difficult times, or simply offer a plate of freshly baked cookies. Staying involved with younger generations also helps older adults keep current on trends, technologies, and popular culture, and continue to be part of the conversation.