Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren, though it is often indirect.

Research suggests that children find unique acceptance in their relationships with grandparents. This relationship benefits both the grandparents and children in their emotional and mental health. They can be a major support during family disruptions. Sometimes they’re playmates for their grandchildren. They’re very often role models and mentors for younger generations. They are also historians — teaching values, instilling ethnic heritage and passing on family traditions.

There is an increasing number of grandparents who care for their grandchildren during the day or have legal custody. These grandparents have a strong influence over these children.

Fostering Strong Relationships

Wise parents foster strong relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. These relationships can grow by spending time together, phone calls, FaceTime, texting, and so on. Having personal contact when possible will help build bonds and increase the love and friendship between the two generations.

Grandparents need their children and grandchildren as well. Being a grandparent makes them live longer. There was a study done that took 500 adults 70 and older, and in this study, they showed that those who babysat regularly had a 37% lower mortality risk than adults who did not. Researchers suspect this has something to do with staying mentally active and having a purpose, but perhaps a steady diet of cheddar bunnies doesn’t hurt either. Although your kids may make you feel like you’re aging rapidly, the opposite is true for your parents and grandparents, and the fountain of youth is just a sippy cup away. LOL

Note From Your Doula

I understand that not all family relationships are the same and it is important to know your boundaries and establish them with your children. If it isn’t the best situation for your children to have a relationship with their grandparents, that is a decision you need to make.

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