Grandparents hold a vital role within the family dynamic. We often hear about research that highlights how positive parent-child relationships are central to emotional and social development… but we rarely see studies into the importance of the grandparent-grandchild connection.
When there is a close relationship between these two generations it can bring a wealth of happiness to a family. There are great benefits to be gained on both sides and we believe it’s something to cherish.
If you are a Nanna or a Pop who enjoys a loving bond with your grandchild, you already know how special that is… but today we want to highlight the true value of grandparents.
When a child has regular contact with their grandparents it enables them to experience a relationship filled with love that differs from the one they have with their parents. It expands their understanding of how to foster healthy relationships and encourages additional emotional development.
When regularly involved in day to day activities, grandparents can actually help to reduce household stress as they are the perfect playtime companions. Their ability to engage in creative, imaginative play isn’t hindered by work commitments or a looming deadline, which is often the case for parents.
And most grandparents talk about how much they love this time. The interaction is truly satisfying for everyone.
A National Seniors Australia report from May 2020, entitled Australian Grandparents Care, shared comments from research participants about their relationships with their grandchildren.
“It is the best feeling to care for your grandchildren, love them to bits.
We love caring for these little people. They add to our lives, and we consider this a special time in all of our lives.
Wonderful, rewarding and enlightening.
Best job in the world looking after the grandkids and watching them learn and grow.”
Vast life experience
A grandma’s unconditional love, patience and comfort can sometimes be the most valuable thing to a child… but they also have a wealth of knowledge to share.
Their vast life experience enables them to recount stories that can be even more interesting than the latest episode of a Netflix series!
Grandparents tend to have a link to their cultural background or heritage that parents might not be able to teach, and many people reflect on how their grandparents’ beliefs and values helped shape their own.
In return, grandchildren regularly help modernise the lives of their grandparents… digitising their world with computers, iPhones and other devices. We are sure that most grandparents are FaceTime masters… especially after so many pandemic lockdowns!
The other incredibly important part of grandparenting is the childcare they provide. If both parents in the family work, grandparents are often called upon to provide regular care.
The Australian Grandparents Care report highlights that the average amount of time spent grandparenting is 12 hours per week. There is no doubt that this time is invaluable for families and saves them a significant financial expense when you consider the cost of paid childcare.
While these childcare hours might not be following a formal curriculum, they are filled with organic learning that is crucial to a child’s growth. We know that grandparents have the ability to make our lives richer, better and happier in so many ways.
We salute you grandparents! Thank you for everything you do.
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