Studies Show Kids Need Grandparents More Than We Realize

While we don’t always get to choose our family situation, there is no doubt that kids do better when they have their grandparents in their lives

In fact, science proves it.There have been all sorts of studies completed that show that not only are kids who have active grandparents happier, but they are actually healthier as well.

In addition, grandparents also make for some awesome free baby sitters. Every new parent knows how difficult it can be raising kids and grandparents are great at helping to bear some of the load involved. They also have lots of experience. They raised you, didn’t they, and you turned out okay? At least we hope so.

While there are countless reasons why kids need grandparents, we’ve compiled a list of 15 of some of the most important ones to share with you. Grandparents deserve gratitude and it’s important to take a moment every once and a while to recognize them for all of their amazingness.

1. They teach us life lessons.
Grandparents have the unique position of being able to shape future generations by sharing the numerous pieces of wisdom they’ve accumulated over the years. Age means experience and knowledge. This isn’t their first rodeo, so the saying goes. Grandparents can help assure that kids go on to become productive and strong adults by sharing with them the mistakes they made along the way and the lessons that they learned.

2. Grandparents make kids happier.
A recent study published in The Gerontologist by researchers Sara Moorman and Jeffrey Stokes confirms as much. They examined the influence of solidarity between grandparents and adult grandchildren and what they found was pretty significant. Greater relationship affinity between the two groups reduced depressive symptoms in both of them.

3. Kids find grandparents sympathetic to their plight.
When a child is angry with their parents, grandparents can serve as an extra outlet for them to vent. Kids are great at finding something to cry or complain about, but a grandparent’s sympathetic ear can make all the difference. Kids don’t typically listen to advice that comes from their own parents, however, Grandparents may be able to lend support and make suggestions that the young people will actually hear.

4. They link us to our family history.
Our past and family history is often an important part of our personal identity, and for many people, grandparents are an important link. They can help us to understand more about ourselves by teaching us about our lineage and by sharing stories with us about their life growing up. They allow us to feel more connected to our ancestors.

5. It is a mutually beneficial relationship.
It turns out, kids enjoy having grandparents just as much as grandparents enjoy having grandkids. It is a complementary relationship that benefits both parties. Studies show that kids whose grandparents are involved in their upbringing have greater overall well-being than kids who don’t have that relationship. In addition, grandparents that babysit their grandkids actually live longer than other members of the same cohort without childrearing responsibilities.

6. We learn not to take ourselves too seriously.
With age comes the inevitable pitfalls. Things like falling asleep on the couch, forgetting names of places or people, and even losing teeth. However, grandparents teach us that it’s important to be good-humored about it. They are great at laughing off these things and making jokes about them. All of us will grow old one day and unfortunate stuff happens, but that doesn’t mean we have to be bitter about it.

7. They can be excellent friends.
While it’s a little weird if kids and their parents identify as best friends, grandparents have a little more flexibility in this regard. They don’t have to be as strict as parents do. Parents have to worry about school, and grades, and diet, etc. But grandparents can be a great source of companionship for kids without imposing too much pressure on them.

8. Mentoring and being role models.
They say it is important to lead by example and grandparents often excel at this. Many older folks are bastions of traditionalism and will be more than eager to share with you the importance of having good moral principals and values. Although their advice may be a little dated sometimes, grandparents can serve as great mentors. You don’t have to worry about them being incongruent either. They almost always live the things they preach.

9. Teaching us about style.
It’s always so amazing to see our grandparents decked out in their crazy fashion during special occasions. Young people these days dress extremely casually. Previous generations really knew how to get dolled up for a night out on the town. And as for men, they would dawn their finest suit and bow tie, even if they were just going down the street to the cigar parlor.

10. They offer a sense of stability.
The world around us is rapidly changing. However, grandparents are the steady rock. If a child’s parents are going through a divorce or other traumatic event, kids can always rely on their grandparents to show them love and be there for them. Your grandparents will always be your grandparents, no matter what. They are just a phone call away any time you need them.

11. They care for your needs.
You can rest assured that you will never go hungry at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. They know how to look out for all your needs —keeping food on your plate with love in their hearts. Grandparents would give you the clothes off their backs if you needed them.

12. Grandparents know how to get involved.
According to a survey done by AGA 72% of grandparents “think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.” That is almost 3 out of 4 grandparents! They love to get involved in everything their grandkids are doing, from attending their sports games to baking cookies with them.

13. Living in the present.
Something all grandparents understand is that time is precious. You only get so much of it during this life on Earth. They watched their kids grow up all too fast in the past, so they know how important it is to cherish the milestones of their grandkids as they arrive. One day it is the grandkid’s 1st birthday and before you even realize it, eighteen years have passed and they are now full-grown adults. Grandparents teach us to appreciate every beautiful moment.

14. We teach them.
While normally, it’s the other way around, sometimes, we even get to teach them new things. It provides another amazing way to strengthen the grandparent-grandchild relationship. We can help them to learn about computers, smartphones, new cultural trends, or anything really. It’s so humbling how Grandparents are willing to take guidance from kids that are a fraction of their age. They are never afraid to admit when they don’t understand something.

15. Endless unconditional love.
Everyone needs love and grandparents offer it in spades. The most amazing part is that there are no strings attached to their love either. It simply is. Just like normal parents, grandparents love their grandchildren completely unconditionally. Unfortunately, many kids don’t realize just how important their relationship is with their grandparents until it is too late.

So, back to the original question. Why do kids need grandparents? While all these 15 reasons are definitely important, the main reason is simply that grandparents are family. And sometimes, that is reason enough. Let’s all take a moment to thank our grandparents for all of the love they have shown us over the years.

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