Today, September 10, is National Grandparent’s Day, and an opportunity to show some appreciation for the many ways grandparents help lighten the parenting load and give families a greater sense of their own history. Having a close relationship with grandparents has been shown to benefit all generations, and active grandparents enjoy greater physical and mental health and overall well-being.
As reported by Ivanhoe Newswire, studies show that children who grow up with a close grandparent bond are less likely to be depressed as adults. The closeness between grandparents and their adult children’s families can be the glue holding the family together, providing stability, guidance and experience. Sharing family stories, teaching valuable skills and helping to instill core values help support strong, resilient families.
Grandparents who babysit often also benefit from regular interaction with their grandchildren. Studies show active grandparents have a 37 percent lower mortality risk than older adults who do not babysit grandkids regularly. Grandchildren may challenge older adults to stay current on technology and trends and move more. Helping to care for grandkids can also give seniors a sense of purpose, meaning and belonging.
Caring for grandchildren just one day a week can also help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s important not to overdo the childcare. Too much caregiving can lead to burnout and cause older adults to miss important health screenings, social events, or self-care practices. Finding a good balance is the key to enjoying the grandparent/grandchild relationship fully.
Grandparents often enjoy a special connection with their grandchildren, and light up when they spend time with their grandkids. They can become close confidants, and offer guidance and the wisdom of many year’s experience. They may even become partners in crime!
“Grandparents can be very special resources. Just being close to them reassures a child, without words, about change and continuity, about what went before and what will come after.” Fred Rogers