5 Reasons Why Your Child Needs to Spend Time with Their Grandparents

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5 Reasons Why Your Child Needs to Spend Time with Their Grandparents

May 23, 2017

Written by: @GabDiesendorf

You know the old saying: it takes a village to raise a child. Well, perhaps not a whole village, but a big family can help – especially the grandparents. Nowadays many families don’t spend as much time together as they would like. As couples move for work, or grandparents relocate to enjoy their retirement, the distance between the older and the younger generation makes it difficult to bond. Even those that live in the same area sometimes don’t put in the effort to see each other as often as possible – work, school, housework and kids’ activities can be overwhelming. However, here are a few reasons why it’s essential your child gets to spend enough time with grandma and grandpa.

Grandparents will take great care of your kids

While maybe you don’t always agree with your parents about every little thing when it comes to parenting, you can be sure that they are more than qualified for the job. After all, they raised you! Maybe some of their notions and practices seem a bit old-fashioned, but unless they are unintentionally harmful to the child, there is no real damage or need to intervene. A bit of spoiling is, of course, to be expected. Many parents get mad because grandma or grandpa allow kids much more freedom, or give them too much candy, but the bottom line is, the time your kids spend with the oldies is hardly enough to form lasting bad habits.

Grandparents’ experience helps build character

While you personally might find your parents’ tales of “back in the day” boring, these stories are actually useful for kids. First of all, they help broaden children’s horizons and build a more diverse world view. That’s one of the first ways children discover that the world as they know it is not universal, and there are other ways to live, too. Your parents are also an excellent link between your kids and their heritage and tradition. And, many older people, once they retire, have rich social lives and form a strong community with their peers. Comfortable over 55 living  has many perks, and it’s a good way for kids to get to know the world of adults and the elderly.

It will take the load off you

Ask any parent how they feel, and after the initial hesitance, they will probably answer with a variation on “overwhelmed” or “exhausted”. While many people feel guilt and think they are failing at adulthood, the truth of the matter is that everybody needs a helping hand sometimes. Leaving your kids with your parents, whether it’s for an afternoon, a weekend, or a couple of weeks during the holiday, can be a lifesaver. A little time apart is good for the kids too – periods of separation, within reason, of course, will help your children develop their independence and confidence.

Kids benefit from parental figures

While they are growing up, kids benefit from having strong parental figures. It helps them feel loved and secure, and builds a powerful support system around them. Grandma and grandpa can serve as excellent role models. Also, unlike parents who are almost always busy with work or chores, grandparents can usually spend more time on fun activities like reading, playing and walks. Without such strict time constraints, and with their vast experience, they are often much more patient and understanding.

It’s fun

Kids need lots of activity and they love the occasional change, while grandparents tend to be set in their ways and can use a little ball of energy to shake up their world from time to time. Both sides benefit from the change. Whether your parents live in another country, a different city, or just across town, their home is still uncharted territory for your little ones. Even exploring someone else’s house can feel like an adventure. Grandparents, on the other hand, can feel lost without work and parenthood concerns to ground them. Spending time with little ones keeps them young and gives them a boost of positivity. Evidence shows that spending time with grandchildren can even lower the risk of Alzheimer’s for the elderly.

Bonding between your parents and your children brings about benefits for everyone. It will brighten the grandparents’ lives, encourage your children’s emotional development, and give you the chance to breathe every once in a while.

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