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Children Who Maintain A Close Relationship With Their Grandparents Are Happier!

Children Who Maintain A Close Relationship With Their Grandparents Are Happier!

Grandparents can actually play quite an important role for children, especially in families where there isn’t an abundance of social connections, or for children whose families going through a divorce.

In a few weeks, Sunday, 8th September will be celebrated as National Grandparents' Day, and we are eternally grateful to them for their presence in our lives. Think about it, aren't we the only ones to have our grandparents around? They pamper us and spoil us and take our side, even when our parents are being mean to us or yelling at us.  Now, it seems like there are actual benefits to having our grandparents around. According to Vanessa Jensen, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic Children’s, grandparents can serve as an extension of family members who love and care for a child.


 
 
 
 
 
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“The more people who love your child, the better,” she said. “Presumably if they’re reasonably healthy people and reasonable in their approach to how they care for your child – it never hurts to have more people who can care about an individual child or a family.” Previous research has shown that having close emotional ties between a grandparent and grandchild actually reduces symptoms of depression in both parties.


 
 
 
 
 
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People are now living longer and setting aging records, and experts seem to think that this bond is becoming more common and significant, at the same time. Dr. Jensen added that grandparents can actually play quite an important role for children, especially in families where there isn’t an abundance of social connections, or for children with families going through a divorce.


 
 
 
 
 
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She also mentioned that it was quite important for parents to remember that the dynamics of a relationship between a child and a grandparent may not of the same nature as the relationship these children share with their parents. She also mentioned that sometimes parents and grandparents can have different or conflicting views. Dr. Jensen also recommends allowing children to do things a little differently, when they're at their grandparent's house.


 
 
 
 
 
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Basically, she says it's okay to let grandparents spoil their grandchildren, as long as it's within reason. “For a typical grandparent, where a child visits, it can be a great way to experience a different activity; if grandma and grandpa live in a different city; if they live on a farm; if they’re around other cousins – it’s almost like a little mini-vacation – and I often tell parents, ‘let it be a vacation,” said Dr. Jensen. 


 
 
 
 
 
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It's also important to remember that when a grandparent ends up playing the role of caregiver for a large portion of the time, it's not always possible for them to spoil the grandkids and send them home. In these cases, she said it’s important to establish consistent expectations for time spent with the grandparents. Hey, the way I see it, parents get some time to themselves, and children spending time with their grandparents have a lot of benefits for both of them. Win-win!


 
 
 
 
 
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