If you think about it, human beings are the only species (with the exception of the occasional whale species) that actually have grandmas and grandpas that are invested and involved in children’s lives.
Additionally, there are researched-backed benefits showing that having grandparents involved not only enriches the lives of the children but the parents also. While in-laws can certainly create their own forms of drama and difficulties, raising your kids near their grandparents and giving them the opportunity to form their own strong relationships with them is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Here’s why!
Kids Raised To Be Close To Their Grandparents Suffer Lower Rates Of Depression
From the year 1985 to the year 2004, over 350 grandparents and over 350 of their adult grandchildren were interviewed as part of an ongoing study. The research indicated that kids who have developed a strong emotional bond with their grandma and grandpa have far lower rates of depression in adulthood than those who don’t develop that bond. In fact, the grandparents involved in the study who had a close relationship with their grandkids were less depressed as well. Another study revealed that 11 to 16-year-old kids who had a good relationship with their grandparents were also less prone to depression.
Kids Raised To Have A Strong Bond With Grandparents Have Higher Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the name psychologists give to the ability to pick up on and act appropriately to the emotional cues of others. It also refers to awareness of one’s own emotions. People with high levels of emotional intelligence are even more likely to land successful jobs as well as find happiness in their personal lives than those with high mental intelligence. Since kids pick up emotional intelligence by interacting with those from different backgrounds and generations, it makes sense that spending quality time with grandparents can dramatically increase a child’s emotional intelligence levels.
Grandparents Also Benefit Immensely From Healthy Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships
Grandparents who spend time with their grandkids regularly tend to grow even more loving and affectionate as the years go by. This is especially true for grandpas. While studies indicate that grandmothers tend to have a closer and more loving role with grandchildren in general than grandfathers do, over time grandpas can start to catch up. In fact, once they hit their 60’s and 70’s, grandpas begin to grow much more involved in playing with their grandkids.
A Good Grandparent-Grandchild Relationship Can Impact Longevity
One of the surprising results of research into the grandchild-grandparent relationship is its impact on how long a grandparent will live. According to the study, those with greater involvement with their grandkids actually lived longer on average than those who weren’t. This was especially true of those who provided care for their grandchildren on a regular basis when compared to those who didn’t babysit their grandchildren regularly. Research of 500 grandparents in the 70+ age range showed that those who didn’t frequently babysit their grandchildren were at greater risk of death than those who did.
Those conducting the study attributed the greater longevity of involved grandparents to the mental stimulation and the feeling of being needed that grandparents who watch their kids tend to experience compared to those who don’t. Rather than sending them to an early grave by them by wearing them out, it would seem that extra time with the grandkids can actually help grandparents live longer!
The bottom line is that the grandparent-grandchild relationship is one of the most significant of all human relationships. It’s one that, under normal circumstances, should be encouraged and celebrated.
Do you agree with the findings of this research? Have you seen the importance of the grandparent-grandchild relationship in your own life? Let us know your thoughts! Pass this article along to the grandchildren, parents, and grandparents out there who would be interested to learn about this fascinating study!