A healthy connection between a grandchild and their grandparent is beneficial to both sides of the relationship.
Having grandparents around is good for everyone. A healthy connection between a grandchild and their grandparent is beneficial to both sides of the relationship.
From easing financial worries to forming close relationships, grandparents can play a vital role in helping to raise children.
The perception of grandparents no longer conjures up visions of old ladies knitting in the corner, nowadays grandparents are often found with a child or several in tow. In a playground or a playcentre.
This is due to several factors: the rising cost of childcare, the average age of grandparents is now only 50 and there appears to be a shift in how people think regarding the benefits of living close to their families, especially when they start a family of their own.
It is obvious that having one of your parents care for your children in your absence has its benefits. From close relationships to financial assistance, grandparents can seem like the obvious solution when it comes to childcare. But they’re not the only benefits of grandparents minding their grandkids.
Grandparents live longer
Studies show grandparents who mind their grandkids live five years longer than those who never babysit. Experts say helping others relives stress, releases the love hormone oxytocin and also strengthens bonds between people. Unsure of where their golden years are taking them, grandparents also rediscover a sense of purpose when they babysit little ones. This boosts their self-esteem, keeping them happy and healthy.
Grandparents are more mentally and physically fit
A study in Australia found that post-menopausal women who cared for their grandkids at least once a week displayed better cognitive abilities than their peers and also lowered their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Experts attribute this to the social engagement that takes place between grandparents and grandkids. Cuddling can also boost your immune system. When people are exposed to more touches, their inflammatory cells decreases and white blood cells ― also known as fighter cells ― increases, which boosts good health
Grandparents can feel young again
Nothing makes you feel young and curious again like experiencing the world through a child’s eyes. Everything is new to them and the excitement they project is very contagious. Playing football, swimming, taking a trip to the playground or the zoo - it's like reliving their childhood once again. The little ones have brains like sponges and learn something new every day, and are eager to share these lessons with everyone around them. This means that the grandparents learn something new through their grandchildren, which sharpens their brains and keeps them updated too.
It will bring them closer to their own children
Witnessing your own children become parents is one of life’s greatest achievements. Being their when their child welcomes a child into the world or offering some non-judgemental advise when things get tough can bring grandparents and their own children closer. In fact, many young mums and dads agree that after having kids, they not only understand their own parents better, they now share things in common.
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.