Important Role of Grandparents

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

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

Research suggest that children find unique acceptance in their relationships with grandparents. This relationship benefits both the grandparents and children in their emotional and mental health. Grandparents 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.

I had a particularly close relationship with my grandparents growing up. My grandma would take care of me during the day while my parents worked. I got to spend a lot of time at their home. I remember playing their backyard and building forts with my cousins. I remember walking down to the church where my grandpa worked and playing while he cleaned the building.

I saw my other grandparents quite a bit too. My grandma taught us how to bake cookies and sow. I remember eating watermelon and talking about Big Foot with my grandpa.

I am so grateful for these memories and for the close relationship I had with my grandparents.

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 shewed that grandparents 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

As a parent, I have been able to see my children grow and strengthen their relationships with their grandparents. It honestly makes my heart smile knowing they are both making memories they will look back on and cherish.

Kim Sabin