Opinion

Raising Children Near Their Grandparents Has Scientific Benefits (Besides The Free Babysitting)

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When grandparents and grandchildren are able to live close together so that each can spend a great deal of time with the other, many fascinating bonds emerge! Not only that, but research shows that raising children near to their grandparents presents many scientific benefits, such that go beyond free, convenient babysitting for parents.

While it’s not always easy – or possible – for grandchildren to grow up near their grandparents, the relationship that develops here is well worth the effort. The extra love, attention, and guidance help raise strong adults. (1, 2)

5 Reasons Raising Children Near Their Grandparents Is Beneficial

While the research is quite extensive, here are five simple ways that raising children near their grandparents leads to beneficial outcomes.

#1. The children will have a built-in support system (in addition to their parents).

According to research gathered through the University of Oxford, children who are able to maintain close relationships with their grandparents tend to have fewer emotional and behavioral issues, allowing them to be better at handling traumatic life events in life, such as divorce, bullying, death, or substantial moves. Having a good relationship with grandparents helps allow the grandparents to offer a unique sense of security and support in such a way that parents might be unable to offer. This helps growing children navigate adverse childhood experiences. (2)

#2. By having an inter-generational identity, a child’s resilience is increased.

Understanding who they are, where they came from, and the history of their family (which can happen by knowing one’s grandparents well) can help a person be more resilient. The reason for this is that knowledge and understanding help one feel more in control of their life, even when uncontrollable events occur. Understanding their family and their history can help a person grow to understand they are part of something bigger than just themselves and their life. (2)

#3. Having a close relationship with grandparents help children grow up to be less ageist.

Everyone gets old. This is the way of life. The hope, however, is that our younger generations won’t discriminate against the old, and a way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is by building strong relationships between youth and the elderly – or, grandparents and grandchildren. According to a 2017 study, kids who develop close relationships with their grandparents are less likely to show bias towards older adults, and children who had a poor quality relationship with their grandparents were more likely to have ageist views. (4)

#4. A close relationship with grandparents helps prevent depression as an adult.

A 2014 Boston College study revealed that quality relationships between grandparents and grandchildren lower the rate of depression for both the elderly individuals and the grandchildren as they become adults. (5)

#5. Grandparents live longer when able to spend regular time with their grandchildren.

While children might tire out their parents, they bring a whole new sense of life to grandparents! Grandparents who are able to invest, pour out love and support, and develop a close relationship with grandchildren will – on average – add five years to their life. (6)

Did you grow up close to your grandparents? How do you feel you benefited?

References

  1. http://www.ox.ac.uk/research/research-impact/grandparents-contribute-childrens-wellbeing
  2. https://www.mother.ly/parenting/330928-2
  3. https://www.amazon.ca/Secrets-Happy-Families-Improve-Mornings/dp/0061778745
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cdev.12992
  5. http://gerontologist.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/06/06/geront.gnu056.abstract
  6. http://6abc.com/health/study-grandparents-who-babysit-live-longer/2409564/?sf113665347=1

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