Grandparents are special in every sense.
They are there to help kids grow, show support and sneak in a few snacks when parents say no.
Encouraging kids to have a close relationship with their Grandparents is not only beneficial to them, but beneficial to Grandparents as well.
Here are the top 5 ways a close bond with Grandparents will benefit kids and improve their outlook on life.
- An Endless Source of Wisdom
Growing up and figuring out life is a road full of twists and turns. Having a grandparent who has lived a long life can typically give good and sound advice and can provide a different outlook on any roadblock in life.
Grandparents won’t necessarily advise exactly what to do, but can provide objective suggestions learned from their own life experiences.
- Provide a Broader perspective
A study in Belgium involving 1,151 kids aged 7-16 found that those who had a close bond with their grandparents were less likely to be ageist towards others based on positive experiences. The study also looked at the quality of the contact as a factor in the viewpoints of grandchildren.
A close bond provides kids an opportunity to see an older generation’s point of view and a chance to understand the reasons for that view point. Understanding the views of a different generation helps kids develop tolerance and understanding of people different than themselves.
- A Decrease in Depression for Both
In 2013, research at Boston College linked close relationships between adult grandchildren and their grandparents to lower rates of depression for both parties.
“The greater emotional support grandparents and adult grandchildren received from one another, the better their psychological health” said Sara Moorman, who headed up the study.
Grandparents benefited knowing they were important and needed by someone. Adult grandchildren benefited from the support, understanding and contributions made by grandparents.
- Connecting Kids to Their Past
In any family, it is important to pass down and understand family traditions. Why is it that Sauerkraut & Pork is served every New Year’s Eve? What exactly was the past like? Why and how did the family immigrate here?
Family traditions, stories and beliefs passed from one generation to the next teach kids about family values and helps them develop a sense of belonging.
- Grandparents Provide a Support System
Grandparents can provide a sense of security when it comes to traumatic events and can help provide advice and guidance. Children that are loved, valued, and respected become happier adults in the future.
Personally, I was blessed to have a close bond with my grandparents. Being close with my family, especially my grandparents, has helped me see things from a different point of view, become more empathetic, and has improved my understanding of who I am as a person since I was taught about my family’s history.
Grandchildren and Grandparents don’t need to live close to one another to reap these benefits, since a simple phone call, FaceTime, Skype and social media are enough to bridge the distance gap and strengthen the bond.
Having a close relationship with Grandparents is a bond that can never be broken and is something that has been beneficial in my own upbringing. So, encourage that strong relationship and let grandparents sneak the occasional snack to the kids.
It is an important part of life that will be looked back on with fondness as your child gets older, and will continue to benefit them throughout the rest of their lives.
Shaye Sicurella is a graduate from the University of Akron where she earned a B.A. in Media Studies and Public Relations.
She is very family oriented having grown up as an only child with close cousins who are like her siblings.
She loves being able to help children’s minds grow which is why she loves to be a part of The Simplay3 Company in Twinsburg, OH.
In her free time, she loves to come up with new recipes, spend time with her friends, travel to new restaurants with her family, raise money for the Summit County Battered Women’s Shelter, and take care of her pet ferret!