Guest Post by Jane Sandwood-
The Essential Role of Grandparents and Child’s Upbringing
Anthropologist Margaret Mead once stated that the connection between family generations is essential for strong mental health and stability of a nation. In today’s culture of multi-carer and single-parent homes, having involved grandparents will go a long way to help fill in the void for children. According to research from the Generations United Organization, studies claim that children living with their grandparents have greater benefits in mental health, socialization, financial stability, and overall health than the general population. If you ask any adult to recall a fond memory from their childhood, chances are most of them will include their grandparents. For children, this special bond with their grandparent gives them comfort and strength that sticks with them far into adulthood.
Guidance in Parenting
Grandparents are the backbone and support of the entire family. In fact, about 7.8 million children in the United States alone live in households supported by grandparents. When both parents work full-time jobs, the grandparents are usually the ones who devote their time and energy towards the care of their grandchildren.
Benefits the Entire Family
According to research from Boston College, studies found that emotionally close ties between grandparents and adult grandchildren reduce symptoms of depression in both groups. Children who have a strong bond with their grandparents reveal to have a sense of emotional closeness and social support. A strong relationship will effectively model a healthy relationship and reduce the negative effects of their surroundings.
Source of Wisdom
As the elders, grandparents are the most experienced in raising children. However, most parents are unwilling to ask for help when they need it the most. Parents must look to grandparents in helping decide on major decisions and investments for their children and the entire family.
Grandparents tend to have more patience and time on their hands, which allows them to become the child’s playmates. In many families, grandparents often watch their grandchildren when parents work or visit during the weekends. This allows parents to have someone they can rely on to talk about parenting and trust to watch their children when necessary.
There is no doubt that grandparents play a strong role in the mental health and upbringing of their grandchildren. The wealth of knowledge grandparents possess and the experiences they share cannot be found anywhere else. It is through them that children instill traditions, gain additional support and create values within the family.