The summer holidays are almost upon us and the stress of finding someone who is able to provide adult supervision to the little folk in your family while you try and fit your work life around their holiday time is something we all feel. Some of us are lucky enough to have retired or semi-retired parents who can help take the strain off of childcare, but have you ever really considered how beneficial the bond between a child and a grandparent can be?
A study published in 2016 by Boston College in America found that relationships between grandparents and grandchildren can help reduce depressive and stress symptoms in both age groups. The study found that the connection between the two generations allow both grandparents and grandchildren to be exposed to different views and changes in culture which can help the older generation keep their brains sharp and the younger learn more about socialising with people outside of their age group. An Australian study published in the same year showed that when postmenopausal women spent time with younger people, especially children, they had a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s and other degenerative conditions.
In addition, children receive different types of interactions with their grandparents as opposed to their parents. Parents are often involved in other aspects of the household, keeping it clean and tidy, making sure the children are disciplined etc as well as having to go to work and maintain the house budget. However, grandparents, especially those who are retired can focus solely on the children and let’s face it, whose grandparents didn’t spoil them rotten with sweets and toys that mum and dad would never normally allow?
So, next time you can’t rearrange your shifts and have to ask your parents to keep an eye on the children, don’t feel guilty, it’s actually good for both of them!