Grandparents have always played a significant role in family life, but over the past few decades, many have had greater responsibility for their grandchildren because of changes in society and families.
They’re the major providers of child care for preschool children, especially for toddlers and babies, when both their parents are in the workforce. They also help parents with school-age children by caring for them during school vacations and picking them up from school.
Grandparents surround their grandchildren with a very special love — one that is more patient, fun and accepting and less critical than the one kids receive from their parents. This kind of love imparts a feeling of comfort, security and safety. This sense of belonging is very important during a kid’s adolescence, when they have conflicts with their parents or feel like they do not fit in at school.
That’s why many kids develop strong relationships with their grandparents and are grateful for their support and love.
Kids who have strong relationships with their grandparents are more likely to stay out of trouble; have better performance in school; demonstrate more prosocial behaviors such as generosity and kindness; and have less depression and anxiety than those that do not.
KIDS RAISED TO BE CLOSE TO THEIR GRANDPARENTS SUFFER LOWER RATES OF DEPRESSION
From the year 1985 to the year 2004, over 350 grandparents and over 350 of their adult grandchildren were interviewed as part of an ongoing study. The research indicated that kids who have developed a strong emotional bond with their grandma and grandpa have far lower rates of depression in adulthood than those who don’t develop that bond. In fact, the grandparents involved in the study who had a close relationship with their grandkids were less depressed as well. Another study revealed that 11 to 16-year-old kids who had a good relationship with their grandparents were also less prone to depression.
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