Unless a grandparent has died or there has been some kind of estrangement within the family, it’s important for children to be able to be in contact with them throughout their life. There are many reasons why grandparents are such important figures in a child’s life, such as teaching them about their heritage, being a link to the past, and being experienced in raising children themselves. Below are 11 reasons why grandparents will play a huge role in your children’s lives.
They Make A Difference
When a grandparent is involved in a child’s life, it makes a big difference to the child, and to the child’s parents to some extent. A report has said that over half of all grandparents in the United States are able to see their grandchildren at least once a week, which could be in person or via a video screen, and almost all of them have changed a grandchild’s diaper in the past. This is an important bond and one which shouldn’t be broken.
Many adults look back and think of their grandparents fondly and say that they definitely have a positive influence in their lives. A grandparent is someone to turn to if the relationship between children and parents becomes difficult, for example, and they are also another link to family which can be extremely important. Grandparents are also keen to advise their grandchildren, and it is this advice that is listened to, meaning they play an important role in everyone’s lives.
They Are A Link To The Past
When we get older, many of us find that we are more and more interested in finding out about our past and looking into our family trees. With grandparents around to help us, whether they are in the community or living at Seasons Memory Care, we can find out a lot more than we would if we had to search online or look through old newspaper cuttings at the local library. It’s not just our own past we can find out about either; grandparents can tell us about how we used to live and what happened – this is living history.
For children, this can be extremely important as it gives them a much better understanding of how things used to be. Children born today will never know a world that doesn’t have the internet, Wi-Fi, touch screens and smartphones, but our grandparents did, and they can explain what it was like. This information can give children a much better appreciation for their lives now.
Grandparents Have More Money
When it comes to the economy, it’s the people in the older generations who have all the spending power. They control around 75 percent of all the wealth in America, and that’s impressive. It means that grandparents will often help out with their children’s finances, especially when it comes to their grandchildren. They might pay towards college tuition or help with a vehicle when the time is right. They could offer assistance when it comes to the down payment on a property. When the children are little, they might be the ones who can ‘spoil’ them and buy them plenty of gifts as well as new clothing, for example.
They Are Childcare Experts
Very often there will be issues when it comes to childcare. In many households, both parents will need to work to bring in enough money, and in single-parent households, it is more likely that the parent in question will need to work more than one job to make ends meet. This is where grandparents can be super useful. They can be the ones who offer to look after younger children when their parents need to work, meaning that money can come into the household with no problems. It is also unlikely that a grandparent would expect any kind of payment for this ‘service’ so parents won’t be out of pocket either.
Grandparents Reduce Stress
Being close to other family members actually reduces stress levels, and a study at Boston College in 2014 proved this. If there is a close relationship between a grandchild and their grandparents, then both parties will be less prone to the symptoms of stress, which is great news all around. When grandparents are around children are calmer and happier and vice versa.
Grandparents also offer a sense of security and support that can help children settle into their own lives better. This is particularly important during the teenage years which can be associated with poor behavior and struggles with emotional problems. If the bond between grandparents and grandchildren is a strong one, then that teenager can turn to their grandparent for the extra support that a parent may not be able to give because they are too close to the situation. It can stop the teenager from falling in with the wrong crowd, for example, because they have a caring adult family member who can look out for them and look after them.
Help Through A Divorce
Grandparents can be the one place a child can turn to when their parents are getting a divorce, and that makes them extremely important. Divorce is hard on everyone, and it can be a confusing, unsettling time. If there is a stable, mature family member, such as a grandmother or grandfather, who can be there when times are tough, that can help in very many ways, keeping the child as happy as possible and enabling them to continue their lives with as little disruption as can be.
The very best grandparents are those who are nurturing and loving. They are like parents, but without the stress and strains that parents have to put up with, which means they can be endlessly calm and caring, even when parents have had enough (for the moment!). Grandparents are often very generous with their time because they know there is only a finite amount of it. They may joke about being able to hand the baby back at the end of the visit, but in reality, most of them want to put off that time for as long as possible, and this is why they fill their grandchildren’s days with as much fun and laughter as they can. This unrushed, quality time is something that makes visiting a grandparent extra special.
Grandparents Are Wise
It always seems that grandparents are wise, and this could be because of the amount of experience they have gained; after all, they have lived longer. They have already raised children, for example, and they know what needs to be done when it comes to babies. New parents might not; they might be tense and unsure. A grandparent will take charge, and even though the child might be very young, this can still have an impact, and the idea that their grandparents can do no wrong and always know the best answers follows them well into adulthood.
Since children like to emulate those role models in their lives that make the biggest impression, a good grandparent can make a huge difference in the person that their grandchild will become.
Grandparents Make ‘Old’ Less Scary
The idea of growing older is a worrying concept for many, and for some, it is absolutely terrifying. Children are particularly nervous about this idea, and this can manifest when they are around older people; they become unsure, nervous, even scared. If they have a good relationship with their grandparents, however, they will know how to speak to older people, and they will be more at ease in these situations. This bridging of the generation gap is essential if children are to be able to communicate with everything they come across, and ‘practicing’ with their grandparents is a great way to start.
Grandparents will also be able to show children that ‘older’ doesn’t mean that they are (necessarily) unable to do the things they used to do, or that they enjoy life any less. It can be a big comfort to little ones who might worry about such things.
Grandparents Are Protectors
There is something truly precious about holding your child’s child, and that forms a love that nothing can break in many instances. It can mean that grandparents become sworn protectors of their grandchildren from the moment they are born. They will look after them and help them through any hardships and difficulties they may have to bear in their lives, and knowing that someone is there to always look out for you is something very special indeed. It means that a child has more confidence and will be more apt to try new things because they know that if even if they fail at something, their grandparents will be there to look after them, help them, protect them, and love them.
Grandparents Offer Health Benefits
Amazingly, a close relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can have health benefits as well as emotional ones. As mentioned above, this relationship can cause lower stress levels, but it can also mean that those involved are less likely to develop symptoms of depression too. Not only that, but it can mean that blood pressure is lower and that reduces the chances of stroke and heart disease.