It’s summer and your 5-year-old self wakes up at five in the morning due to the excitement of the upcoming trip to the beach. You decide to go downstairs where your grandma is preparing snacks. A highway trip seems long, but you know you’ll have a great time singing and listening to the stories your grandparents will tell you about their youth and about how they met.
For those lucky enough to spend time with older loved ones, a deep bond is formed. Feelings developed between a child and their grandparents are entirely unmistakable, fulfilling, and touching.
Benefits for children
Experts say that maintaining a relationship between grandparents and children has multiple advantages that can range from the physical and spiritual to the emotional. Without a doubt, a healthy grandparent-child relationship is substantial for all parties involved. For instance:
- Since grandparents’ parenting and intense work commitments have usually passed, they provide better and undivided attention that tired, busy parents sometimes can’t.
- Grandparents can pass on important family traditions and life stories helping children gain a sense of history, heritage, and identity. They provide a vital connection to the past.
- Children with involved grandparents learn that they can love and depend upon someone other than their parents. Adolescent and young-adult grandchildren consider their relationship with their grandparents of great importance. Additionally, their strongest motivators for maintaining a relationship with grandparents seem to be the delight of the relationship, emotional ties, and feelings.
Benefits for grandparents
Several studies indicate that grandparents play a variety of roles within the family and demonstrate different styles of child involvement. For example, grandmothers can have either personal or social relationships with their grandchildren. For some other grandparents spoiling them is a necessity. Other grandparents are only concerned about doing what is morally right and some others see grandchildren as a way to keep themselves from becoming lonely and old.
Regardless of the type, maintaining an important role in the lives of children is associated with survival. Functions of social networks related to the meaning of life and different forms of social support may have important effects on mortality. Recent studies show that having a poor relationship with children increased mortality by 30%. Elderly persons who felt their role in their children’s lives was important had a lower mortality risk than those who felt they played a small role. Maintaining an important role in the extended family was also significantly associated with mortality.
Having caring grandparents has been associated with the development of higher self-esteem, better emotional and social skills (including an ability to defy peer pressure), and enhanced academic performance.
How to create child-grandparent bonds
The most frequent types of interaction with grandparents include brief visits for conversation and participating in important discussions.
Even though grandchildren usually view their grandparents as confidants and companions, building relationship between them is mainly a parents’ task. One of the easiest ways to help children connect with seniors is to create opportunities for them to spend time together. Visiting grandparents regularly to pick flowers, go to the movies, play board games, make art or cook together, tell stories, or have a picnic are great ways to encourage bonding.
Involving kids in activities at senior living communities may help them to get familiar with elders and create bonds between them.
Regardless of age, maintaining healthy relationships, especially with our elderly beloved ones will provide multiple benefits for each person involved.
At 24/7 Nursing Care, our goal is to provide individualized referral services tailored to your needs. Our team is available to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week even on holidays. Give us a call at (786) 518-3622 in Miami-Dade or (954) 949-1332 in Broward.