7 Reasons Why Kids Need Their Grandparents
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Grandparents offer kids much more than a kindly pat on the head and home-baked cookies. Research is increasingly proving that children who enjoy active relationships with their grandparents reap multiple benefits, from gaining a sense of family history to being happier than those who grow up without access to their parents’ parents. Here are a few of the many reasons you should be glad if your child has grandparents in his or her life.
Values and Wisdom
You do your best to instill values and morality in your children, and it’s true that parents are the biggest influence in a child’s life. Grandparents have a key role to play in a child’s value development as well. The stories, lessons, and wisdom grandparents share about life can have a significant impact on your child’s moral development.
Pillars of Support
Grandparents are always there to lend support when a child needs to cry or complain—even if the child is complaining about you. This can work to your advantage: when a child is convinced you’re being horribly unfair, grandparents offer a sympathetic ear, but can have a good chance of explaining your reasoning in a way children are more willing to hear.
Grandparents Make Great Friends
As a parent, you can’t always be your child’s friend, and other children’s friendships often come with peer pressure and expectations. Grandparents don’t have to worry about school or social situations as much as you do, and offer companionship without peer pressure.
Children are eager to learn new skills, and grandparents can make excellent mentors. Perhaps your father has a way of teaching a child to tie shoes that works better than yours. Perhaps Grandma has more time to help a child with math homework than tired parents. Or maybe a child discovers a love of woodworking, sewing, or heck, particle physics because of a skill they admire in a grandparent.
Links to Family History
Your parents might not be too pleased to be called a link to the past, but from a child’s perspective that’s just what a grandparent is. Children who spend time with grandparents listen to family stories, tales of the way things were, and get a sense of family history and lineage that kids without grandparents often miss out on.
Grandparents offer a sense of stability in an ever-changing world. This is especially true for children whose parents divorce. In the midst of watching their parents separate, knowing grandma or papa are there can be a huge comfort. But life changes don’t have to be as traumatic as divorce to throw a child off-balance. A parent’s new job (or period of unemployment), a change of school, or a move to a new town can all leave a child feeling off-balance and upset. Again, when life gets confusing or upsetting, it helps knowing nana is there.
Finally, kids with grandparents tend to be happier and more emotionally stable. Oxford University researchers discovered children with grandparents who are actively involved with them are significantly happier than their grandparent-less peers. And a Boston University study reveals kids who grew up with grandparents experienced lower than average rates of depression.
Grandparents do so much for your children, why not give them a gift that shows you—and their grandchild—appreciate them. Told from your child’s perspective, My Super-Bestest Grandparent offers a delightful description of how much your child loves nana and papa, with the child and grandparent’s name included throughout the lively, superlative-filled text.