Look no further than your own family to find role models for your children. Grandparents can inspire the younger generation’s values and future
We all know that grandparents are our kids’ go-to source for bear hugs, commiseration (you are the common enemy), and yummy movie night snacks. But did you know that kids benefit from their grandparent’s advice, guidance, and endless love, too? Yup, research shows that it’s a win-win for both generations, and so, in honor of Grandparent’s Day on Sept. 11, here are 10 reasons why your kids need to get in that QT with Nana, Pop-Pop, Mimi, or Gramps.
Grandparents Provide Unconditional Love
Grandparents love your children and want to be around them, helping them mature and shaping them into smart, caring adults. Showering your children with unconditional love will go a long way toward instilling confidence in them and ensuring that they have a brighter future.
You'll Help Your Parents Live Longer
Scientists now believe that grandparents who babysit live longer than those who don’t. A study showed babysitting grandparents had a whopping 37% lower mortality risk than adults of the same age who have no “caring responsibilities.” They believe time spent with grandchildren creates a sense of purpose and also helps keep grandparents physically and mentally active.
Grandparents Want to Show Them the World!
Hopefully, your mom and dad will want to explore the world with your kiddos and take them to visit historic and educational destinations. Your parents may have the financial means to go a little further and take the kids on a skip-gen trip by themselves. Count yourself very lucky if they can.
They Can Enjoy New Experiences Together
Let your mom and dad take your kids on educational, yet fun outings—to museums, art shows, and musical theatre performances. Let the grandparents serve as role models, showcasing their passion for culture. Kids who are exposed to the arts will be more likely to pursue these experiences on their own as they continue to grow.
You Can All Be Part of a Team
Raising children is like a team sport. You’ve heard the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Encourage your parents to be a part of the team and let them take great pride in fostering your children to become confident, healthy adults. That’s something you can all be proud of accomplishing.
Related: 12 Games to Play with Grandparents
You'll End Up with Happier, More Secure Children
If you need more convincing, a study at the University of Oxford by Professor Ann Buchanan from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention showed that “a high level of grandparental involvement increased the well-being of children.” Their study of more than 1,500 children showed that those with a high level of grandparental involvement had fewer emotional and behavioral problems.
Grandparents Can Be Your Child’s Best Sounding Board and Source of Comfort
It’s a tough world out there. Your kids see how hard you work and may feel more comfortable sharing their issues and concerns with their grandparents, who might be less judgemental. If your child dreams of becoming an astronaut, grandparents have the power to encourage them. If a family is struggling, grandparents can just be there to listen and provide empathy for their fears.
Your Kids Can Learn about the Past
There was a time in the not-so-distant past when our lives weren't ruled by technology. Grandparents can share stories about years when humans weren't living in a digital world; kids will love seeing pictures of their grandparents doing their favorite things and come to understand how different life was back then.
Grandparents Can Help Kids Do Good for Others
The elder generation may also place a high value on volunteering at religious and social service organizations. They may ask to bring the kids along with them at events like sorting donations at a food bank, packing school supplies, and purchasing warm coats for needy children. Participating in these kinds of activities will teach your children about compassion.
Your Kids Can Learn about and Share Their Values
Grandparents have an opportunity to share their values, like the importance of getting a good education, staying close to family, and being kind to children at school who may be physically and mentally challenged, with your kids. The influence of positive role models is critical as children tend to model the behaviors they see; listening to their grandparents will serve as a guide for your kiddos.