There is a great deal of writings and documentation of all kinds about the influence of parents on their children, but there is relatively little about grandparents and their relationship with their grandchildren.
However, statistics show that about three quarters of adults will become grandparents Someday, and the average age to become one is around 57 years old. Therefore, a large number of people are going to be grandparents for about a third of their useful life. In addition, with the decline in fertility and the demographic aging of industrialized western societies, family networks are changing substantially, and grandparents can be said to play an increasingly important role in raising children.
The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren today
Currently grandparents and grandchildren see each other with relative frequency. In a survey conducted a few years ago in the United Kingdom, he showed that about 30% of grandparents saw their grandchildren several times a week, while another 32% said they saw their grandchildren less than once a month.
The relationship between the two is generally (although not always) very close, satisfactory and non-conflictive, and is seen as very positive and important by both generations.
And it is that grandparents and grandchildren usually do all kinds of things together, such as participating in family events, sharing family history, playing together, going on vacation, shopping, watching TV or videos, etc.
Next we are going to tell you 8 of the main psychological benefits that grandparents bring to their grandchildren:
1. The love between grandparents and grandchildren is special
Psychologists have described it as pure and "emotionally simple," grandparents they experience all the joy and affection in the same way as the parents, but that they do not carry with the daily tensions and responsibilities of the upbringing of the child. Research shows that it is a mutually beneficial relationship. In one study, researchers surveyed 1,596 children, ages 11 to 16, and found that grandparents' participation in children's lives led them to adjust better and be mentally healthier teenagers. Here are some of the specific benefits that children receive from their grandparents.
2. Offer a safe and stable home
Another of the study's findings was that almost a third of grandparents regularly took care of their grandchildren. "Grandparents of children with working parents can provide a more stable home and they are not left alone when parents are working late, "says Susan Newman, a social psychologist skilled in parenting. Newman points out that grandparents can help with raising healthy children, providing constant meals and support, to This time serves as an additional level of security.
3. A loving shoulder where to lean
Grandparents can serve as a “cushion” when a family is going through a divorce. They they can calm children and help them develop resilience, a very important lesson for children. A grandfather can serve as a model to learn how to deal with adversity and difficulties in life, says Dan Kindlon, a child psychologist, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and author of "The Name of Cain: Protecting the emotional life of children. "
4. More caution behind the wheel
It seems that the chances of suffering a traffic accident are 50% lower when a grandfather is behind the wheel instead of a parent, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics. This may be because grandparents are more cautious when driving when they take their grandchildren, researchers say.
5. True Affection
A study by Haifa University in Israel showed that grandparents appreciate their grandchildren equally, whether biological or adoptive. Couples often go through hard and expensive fertility treatments, partly for fear that their parents will not accept an adopted child. However, researchers found that grandparents saw their adopted grandchildren as equal members of the family. And that deep affection can be especially valuable when the grandson has special needs, since another report found that grandparents play a key role in the life of autistic grandchildren.
6. A bridge between generations
Grandparents not only teach important life lessons, but also can help keep families together. According to a study from the University of Wisconsin, the more time children in families with difficulties with grandparents spend, the greater the likelihood of parents staying together. "Grandparents are the glue in families," explains Newman. "They pass family traditions to the younger generations and make them closer to the father figure by telling them stories of when their parents were children."
7. A combination of tradition
Grandparents not only talk about the past, but also keep the transmission of family and community traditions alive. "They use their time to share information and instruct their grandchildren: they can teach a child to play chess, build a bird house, bake a cake, or take care of the garden," says Newman. "Grandparents, like parents, are excellent role models."
8. A solid anchor and unconditional love
A Canadian study found that relationships between grandparents and grandchildren permanently are usually based on respect, mutual support and friendship; grandparents provide stability and give children someone to talk to when parents feel uncomfortable about a sensitive issue. But "Most importantly, grandparents provide their grandchildren with unconditional love," says Michelle Borba, an educational psychologist. "This is the greatest of all gifts, as it sets the stage for children's mental and physical health."