A study found that children who had a very close bond with their grandparents had a much lower risk of having depression.
Children share a unique bond with their grandparents. There's just so much love that's shared in the relationship, and those who have been fortunate enough to grow up with their grandparents understand the significance. Grandparents step in to fill the role of caretakers when parents have a busy schedule. Some of my favorite memories are from the times I spent with my grandparents during holidays, away from home. This was like a mini-vacation in itself because I got to do a lot of things, and mess up things and even get away with it. This wouldn't have been possible if I were at home with my parents.
Maintaining a close relationship with my grandparents had its fair share of advantages, and I'm not talking about the fact that I always got an extra bit of pocket money from them. No, they taught me what true love and care is all about. In fact, they taught me a lot about life that I believe my parents would have ever been able to teach me about. I'm not making this up, there are studies to back the benefits of maintaining a close relationship with your grandparents.
Research suggests that having an emotionally close bond with grandparents actually reduces the risk of the children becoming depressed. The study, published online in the journal The Gerontologist, observed 356 grandchildren and 374 grandparents who were part of a larger study. Boston College researchers analyzed the data that was accumulated over a period of 19 years. The results found that children who had a very close bond with their grandparents had a much lower risk of having depression.
This actually works both ways, because when grandparents spend time with the kids, they keep themselves occupied, too. Also, the children feel a sense of stability and security when they bond with their grandparents. They also manage to have a positive impact on their grandkids' lives. This comes in handy especially during tough times, like their parents separating or issues like bullying at school.
A study by the University of Oxford found that close ties between grandparents and their grandkids helped children be better at coping with traumatic life events. The study, conducted by Professor Ann Buchanan, included more than 1,500 children. The results of the study showed that those with high level involvement of grandparents had fewer behavioral and emotional problems. Also, grandmothers were responsible for nurturing their grandkids while grandparents were responsible for mentoring, according to the study.
“If parents regularly involve grandparents in their child’s life early on, a child can develop real emotional closeness to the grandparents and begin to see the grandparent as a source of strong social support. So a child will feel that they have other adults, aside from their parents, who love and care about them in the same way, and this adds to their sense of stability and security,” said Kimberly Agresta, a licensed clinical social worker and the co-founder of Englewood’s Agresta.
This also helps parents not feel left out from raising their children, because, in the end, it is being done by them, with some help from their parents. True, they babysit them and groom them, but parents also feel secure and content knowing that their children are in safe hands. The kids, too, feel a sense of comfort with their grandparents and tend to open up to them a bit more than they would to their own parents.
“There’s a sense of comfort in leaving your child with a family member who loves them and is similarly invested in raising them,” Agresta said. “It’s also nice to have the support of your own parent when you’re raising your child.” So, there you have it. You now know there's more to spending time with your grandparents than just being fed amazing food and experiencing an awesome sense of freedom. All of this, in turn, is only a part of the process that helps you truly become happier.