Grandparents - A Treasure That Benefits Us All
Have you ever stopped to think about the importance and influence grandparents have in so many families? They are figures that we depend upon to always be there for us. The help they offer us is completely unique. The benefits they bring to their grandchildren and children go far beyond what we can possibly imagine.
Grandparents not only play a fundamental role in the family. As a society too, we also benefit from their input, and the bonds that are created and nurtured thanks to them. In this article we’re going to look into all the benefits that they contribute.
“Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being.”
– Margaret Mead-
Psychological benefits for the parents
Not many years ago, the norm was for the father to work outside the home, and for the mother to carry out the household chores. These days the roles have changed. Both fathers and mothers are immersed in the workplace and also in the domestic chores.
Because of this, it is very unlikely that the sum of the time devoted by the two will ever be equal to the amount of time that their mothers used to devote to them. In these circumstances, many grandparents lend a hand and stay with the grandchildren when neither of the parents are available. The parents’ minds will be at ease, as their children could hardly be in better hands.
Besides being a trusted support for parents, grandparents can also advise using their experience. This is especially the case when questions arise about how to raise the children. In addition to this they are able to empathize in the day to day difficulties of family life. Finally, we must not forget their valuable role as mediators in conflicts that may arise in the family.
“Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary for children’s growth as vitamins.”
Psychological benefits of grandparents for their grandchildren
As grandchildren, those of us who have been able to enjoy their company are aware of the indelible mark grandparents have left on our lives. But this is not only a subjective feeling, it is very much an objective one too. On the one hand, they aren’t as rigid with rules as parents, and so the time spent with grandchildren is more focused on enjoyment.
In this way, when they are with their grandparents, grandchildren receive the two gifts they value most and which stimulate their growth: attention and time. They feel at ease and that they are being listened to. At the same time they have fun, playing with people who love them and who they love. On the other hand, dealing with grandparents nurtures values, such as respect and a regard for their experiences.
These benefits don’t end when our childhood ends. It has been found that adults who, as children, were able to enjoy their grandparents, develop more effective and better adapted social and emotional skills. This allows them to develop more and better emotional bonds and have a healthier and happier social life.
“Surely the most satisfying experiences of life are being a grandchild or a grandparent”
– Donald A. Norberg-
Psychological benefits for grandparents
This special relationship not only benefits everyone. Thanks to this role the grandparents have, they feel useful, valued and busy. They usually have a better self-esteem than other people of their age who don’t have grandchildren or direct contact with them.
Like their grandchildren when they are with them, the grandparents also feel cared for. They feel they are being listened to as well, as children are often interested in the stories that their grandparents tell them about their youth. In this way, family ties are strengthened.
But not only that, relationships with grandchildren also give the motivation to learn new things and to use new technologies. This keeps them up to date with what’s going on. Grandparents are a unique and precious asset that benefits all family members … Let’s enjoy them!
Images courtesy of Lotte Meijer, William Stitt and Cristian Newman.