Those of you who have been fortunate enough to live close to their grandparents know that the love and care these people provide to a child is simply impossible to express with words.
There is a special bond formed between grandparents and grandchildren, something between the one we build with our parents and the one we develop with our best friends.
Grandparents are caring, warm, supportive, wise, cool, friendly, and kind, all at the same time. They help their grandchildren to develop a sense of history and heritage, which has a huge impact on their understanding of themselves in the future.
Researchers maintain that the intergenerational identity, or the understanding of one’s family history and where they fit within it, makes children more resilient and helps them control their lives better.
Children love the stories they tell them, and in this way, they learn about tradition. Moreover, grandparents see the best versions of us and always have positive things to say, so their presence in our life boosts our self-esteem.
Susan Bosak, author of How to Build the Grandma Connection, says:
“Children who have strong ties with involved caring grandparents develop higher self-esteem, better emotional and social skills including an ability to withstand peer pressure, and enhanced academic performance.”
Grandparents also teach kids numerous valuable lessons and classic skills such as cooking and baking, sewing, gardening, and pumping a bicycle tire, and these are some of the most precious childhood memories of many children.
Grandparents are an extra layer of protection as well, both, emotional and financial.
Yet, a study by Evolution and Human Behavior showed that the kids are not the only ones who benefit from this relationship, as those grandparents who babysit their grandkids tend to live longer.
Namely, the time they spend with their grandchildren keeps them physically active and sharp-minded. Kids also teach their grandparents to experience life in new, exciting ways.
One grandparent once said:
“Grandchildren are my reward for having children.”
Having all this in mind, you would agree that raising children near their grandparents would be a wise and beneficial decision.
Numerous researchers have shown that it has countless benefits, including boosting the physical health of kids, advancing language skills, and giving them a strong moral compass.
Also, kids will show less bias towards the elderly, and will not grow up into ageist and discriminating adults. They will have a higher EQ (Emotional Intelligence (EQ) quotient), so they will become more social and likable.
Studies have also shown that children who have strong emotional bonds with their grandparents have a lower risk of depression in adulthood.
Researchers at the University of Oxford found that these children also have less emotional and behavioral issues, easily cope with trauma, and better navigate adverse childhood experiences.
Sociology Assistant Professor, Sara Moorman, who studied the emotional relationship between grandparents and adult grandchildren, claims that both parties benefit from it:
“We found that an emotionally close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship was associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations. Grandparents and adult grandchildren can be real resources to each other.”
Even if it is not possible for a grandparent to love close to their grandkids, any form of communication, like frequent calls, texts, and holidays together, can help to strengthen this important bond.
Nobody else can take the place of a grandparent in life, and no bond will be as special as the one they have with their grandchildren.
Yet, note that research has found that grandkids do not automatically value their grandparents, so the attitude of grandparents is the most important factor for their closeness.
Therefore, uninvolved and detached grandparents and those who tend to create drama and conflict are unlikely to be valued by their grandchildren.
The most likely to succeed are those determined to build a strong relationship and constantly nurture it.