We know that grandparents play a very unique role in the lives of children. Grandparents play the part of a parent, friend, guide and mentor in the lives of their grandchildren. Whether they live next door or thousands of miles away, grandparents enhance and support their children (aka the parents) in the limited time they spend with them.
Being a grandparent is a very fulfilling experience in your life. The opportunity to nurture and spend quality time with grandchildren makes it a very endearing relationship. As Alex Haley famously said, “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.” There is so much truth in these words. The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren benefit them both mentally and emotionally. In this blog, we explore some of the major benefits of this bond.
The benefits of the bond
Grandparents can provide their grandchildren with a very important thing: time. As a result of their lifestyle, grandparents often have enough time to spend with their grandchildren. This helps forge an incredibly special bond between them and allows the child to feel seen, special and loved.
But that’s not all. This relationship provides the younger generation with an opportunity to gain wisdom and practical advice which they can use in their day to day lives. Grandparents see the future in their grandchildren and want to share their legacy with them. On the other hand, the relationship allows the elderly to connect with and understand a younger generation. Also, for grandchildren, grandparents are often the strongest and only link to their ancestors and heritage.
Although it’s almost impossible to simplify the significance of this bond, we can safely say that grandparents provide a sense of safety and security to young children. In this age of nuclear families and fast-paced lifestyles, the benefits of the bond between a grandparent and grandchild are tremendous.
As the children grow, this bond becomes even more important. Research shows that a positive grandparent-grandchild relationship can be linked to positive social behaviour and adjustment in children. It has also been proven that this bond was associated with fewer emotional and behavioural problems and decreased problems in peer relations like bullying. It has also been observed that a strong bond with grandparents helps the kids cope with the divorce of their parents.
Coming back to the benefits this bond can have on the grandparents, grandchildren help them be mentally sharp, as well as emotionally and physically active.
To sum it all up, the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren is beautiful and unique. Other than giving each other immense love, here are some of the benefits they provide:
Benefits for Grandparents:
• Improved mental wellbeing.
• Lower rates of depression.
• A better lifestyle.
• Increase in socialisation.
• The possibility to share values and provide guidance.
• The fulfilling feeling of making a difference.
• The feeling of being seen and heard.
Benefits for Grandchildren:
• A source of wisdom, camaraderie, mentoring and conviction.
• A source of bonding between the family.
• A connection to family heritage and legacy.
• Mental and emotional support.
Bonding with your grandchildren can be hard in the present times due to busy lifestyles and a global phenomenon like the pandemic. Here are a few ways to improve and increase the grandparent-grandchild bond:
• Use FaceTime, Skype or similar technology to communicate on a frequent basis.
• Walk together on video chats, show each other your surroundings and discuss interesting things you see.
• Send letters, photos and postcards to each other.
• Sing lullabies, songs and stories for them on the phone or send them a recording of it.
• Send each other gifts or a “this reminded me of you” token.
• Establish special traditions and fun activities like virtual movie nights, ice cream dates or Sunday brunches.