It is not easy to raise a child, especially when both parents need to work. And though you may always hire a babysitter, nothing compares to the love and care a grandparent can give to a child. A study at Oxford University and the Institute of Education also agree that when it comes to childcare, it is best to count on grandparents.
Research shows that grand-kids grow happier and more secure with their grandparents by their side.
Grandparents are known for their loving, caring, and doting nature towards their grandchildren. It is no wonder why they are children’s favorite people. They do not only make the best meal in town, but also give the best kind of emotional support.
Of course, it is no secret that grandparents “spoil” their grand-kids. This might scare some parents to leave kids in their hands. But academics at Oxford University found how beneficial it is for children to have a close relationship with their grandparents.
In a study that involved more than 1,500 children, it was discovered that grandparents could help children go through an emotional crisis. The emotional support that grandparents give to children is vital, especially when the family go through tough times such as divorce.
In the case of a 12-year-old girl, her grandmother proved to be a great help when she was having problem at school. She shared in the study how she was able to manage emotional distress with the help of her grandma. Her grandmother was her comfort when she was bullied at school.
The research of Oxford University also shows that grandparents can help hone children’s problem-solving skills. They also offer counsel to their grandchildren about their plans in the future. Such was the case of one teenager involved in the study, whose grandparents discussed with him what universities he should apply to and what career to take.
Despite the positive effects of having an involved grandparent in the life of children, it turned out that only one out of three grandparents regularly take care of their grand-kid. While 40 percent of grandparents only lend their hands occasionally. Researchers believe that it is time for the government to help recognize and advocate for the vital role grandparents play in the children’s well-being.
“What was especially interesting was the link between involved grandparents and adolescent well-being.” Professor Ann Buchanan, director of the Centre for Research into Parenting and Children in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at Oxford University said. “Closeness was not enough: only grandparents who got stuck in had this positive impact on their grandchildren.” She noted.
An associate professor of sociology at Boston college also agrees with the findings of Oxford University. In a study led by Sara Moorman, the relationship of the young generation with their grandparents expose them to different ideas that are handy in navigating through young adulthood.
“Grandparents have a wealth of experience — they’ll often tell stories about their lives and how things worked when they were young, and once kids become adults, they’re able to maximize those lessons.” Sara Moorman explained.
The researchers do not say that grandparents should replace actual parents in raising children. But it stresses how great things can be achieved when all members of the family share a strong bond.
“Parents should be aware of their role as gatekeepers in the relationship between their children and their parents,” Shalhevet Attar-Schwartz, an academic at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem shared.
“They should also be aware of grandparents’ potential to be an important resource in their children’s lives, especially if the family is undergoing a change… or if the child is undergoing a painful or challenging experience…”
What makes a strong relationship between grandparents and grandchildren even more fascinating is how they both benefit from it. Studies show that grandparents who take care of their grandkids live longer. It is another reason why grandparents should be a part of their precious grandchildren’s life!