Grandparents can play important roles in the lives of their grandchildren, mentally, physically and emotionally. The lives of children who are lucky enough to have relationships with their grandparents on an ongoing basis can be enriched in many ways.
Here are just a few of the benefits grandparents can bring to their grandchldren:
1) Improved Mental Health
Grandparents who take part in their grandchildren's lives can increase the children's sense of well-being. Research from England and Wales studied 1,596 children who were between 11 and 16 years of age. The children who had relationships with their grandparents were seen to have better mental health in their teen years.
2) Greater Sense of Security
Grandparents who are available to help care for their grandchildren when parents must be away, e.g., for work, instil the children with a greater sense of security. A sense of extended family, of people who are there for them, provides a safety net that many children don't have these days.
3) Better Nutrition
Lots of kids can fix basic meals for themselves. But having breakfast, lunch or dinner laid out by a loving grandma or grampa who have been fixing food for many years and know their way around the kitchen wins hands down.
So maybe a child would be content making do with some chicken nuggets. But who wouldn't be happier, and healthier with a some veggies and dip, some fruit and juice on the side, with a hug and a kiss before chowing down.
4) Greater Physical Safety
There are advantages to being with older people who are more settled in their ways and whose days of tearing around and taking chances are (hopefully) behind them. The journal Pediatrics reported that grandchildren are 50 percent less likely to be hurt in a car accident when one of their grandparents is driving rather than a parent.
5) Greater Self-Esteem
Grandparents can give their grandchildren a sense of safety, of tradition and of heritage. Personal attention can increase a grandchild's learning and developmental skills, and encourage greater independence.