Grandparents can offer moral and financial support to the parent and the child, they offer unconditional love, and can help unburden first-time parents from the huge strain and stress that parenthood brings. Once you are convinced of the importance of grandparents in your life, you can use the opportunity to surf our list of home phones for seniors to schedule the next visit.
Grandparents of today are active and involved
It is easy to picture grandparents as old people sitting in a rocking chair with a couple of blankets on their laps but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Today’s typical grandparents are much more active and 43% are reported to exercise or play sports while 18% dance.
Contrary to the myth that seniors are lost in front of anything that is electric or has buttons, grandparents in America nowadays have generally adapted well to today’s digital age. More than 75% of grandparents are reported to use the internet regularly and nearly half use social media.
This means that it is no longer difficult for grandkids to connect to seniors and while there are many things that each can teach the other, they remain on equal footing and grandparents are capable of understanding the needs and passions of their grandkids in the digital age.
Thus, the idea that a day spent at the grandparent’s house will mean just staring at the TV, playing video games, or reading a book is no longer true because many seniors are very active now and they can join their children in the park and be more actively involved.
A more active and involved life leads to an increased life expectancy, and while in the last century half of the American teenagers had at least two living grandparents, nowadays that figure has grown to 90%.
Today in America there are more than 80 million grandparents, more than a third of the adult population, and their role in the lives of their grandkids has never been more important than it is today.
Grandparents offer an affordable childcare option
It is very important for grandparents to have a close connection to their grandchildren since there are many benefits for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. Many grandparents feel joyful freedom in their new role since they no longer experience the same stress or pressure new parents feel.
Since in most families both parents work outside of the home, it is often the task of grandparents to look after and raise today’s youth. While babysitters can be costly there is also the fear that a person you don’t know might not be fitted to look after your child. These problems don’t exist when it comes to grandparents.
The 2010 Census showed that about 2.7 million grandparents in the US provided the basic needs of grandchild care and even more took care of their grandchildren on a regular basis. If the grandparents are able and willing, they can act as an occasional babysitter or even as paid child care provider.
The best advantage is that the parents get to feel less stressed when they are away from their children since grandparents can give a great sense of comfort knowing that you are leaving their children in caring and capable hands. That is without mentioning the amount of money and trouble it can save you since finding a babysitter is not always as easy as it sounds.
The benefits of a close connection between grandparents and grandchildren
Many people view grandparenthood as a second chance, that each person has to correct the wrongdoings they made the first time around. Nobody is perfect, and being a parent for the first time is a real challenge, making it hard to get it right the first time.
Maybe you were not able to spend as much time as you would have liked with your own children or made many mistakes in the beginning, mistakes you have now learned from. In this sense, grandchildren provide grandparents with a fresh start. Grandparents can also be an endless source of wisdom for new parents.
Grandparents who have a close connection to their grandchildren are also known to report much less depression and a higher degree of life satisfaction. They tend to be happier overall and more hopeful for the future.
What’s unique about the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is that the roles of student and teacher are often times reversed – it is not only the older person that does the teaching. Young children, in particular, like to feel needed, and they have a lot more to teach their grandparents than their parents.
Grandparents can spend countless hours learning about the cool stuff their grandkids found on the internet or what cool new gadget they got. Compared to parents, grandparents are more receptive and more willing to see the world through a child’s eyes again compared to a parent who just arrived home after a long and tiring shift at work.
The benefits to parents
Parents nowadays are often stressed and overwhelmed by the new full-time job that being a parent is, and a supportive and loving grandparent can act as a shoulder to cry on and someone to talk with freely. Someone who has been in your shoes but that now has the benefit of hindsight can help you put your problem into perspective.
Furthermore, parents can also feel relieved that there are other adults who love their children as much as they do and that can look out for them. Researches have shown that children need anywhere from four to six caring and involved adults in their lives to develop socially and emotionally.
It’s not just the emotional support that matters but also the financial one since grandparents are a true economic powerhouse. They are believed to control an astounding 75% of the wealth in the U.S. and it is not a surprise to learn that a great deal of that goes toward their grandchildren.
A survey made by MetLife has shown that grandparents spend an average of $1,700 annually for their grandchildren in the form of housing, childcare and most often gifts such as clothing, books, snacks, and toys.
Finally, many people say that when children enter the picture, their relationship with their parents tends to improve. Strict parents tend to become softer as a grandparent and that helps adult children see their parents in a whole new light, as well as mend bad relationships.
Time spent with grandparents is precious
Psychologically, the importance that grandparents have in the harmonious development and growth of children is undeniable and even if they live far away, a parent should try their best to take their child to see his or her grandparents from time to time.
Children who spend a lot of time with their grandparents and create a close relationship to them will learn lots of funny and fascinating stories about the childhood of their parents and that will help them develop a sense of belonging to the family. These stories can, in turn, make the children feel more connected to their parents and see them as the children they once were.
Naturally, grandparents are also a wealth of knowledge and they can be a never-ending source of stories to their grandchildren. Many children end up remembering the time they spend with their grandparents fondly due to the unconditional love that they offer to them in the moments they need it the most.
What’s even more important is that the time spent with grandparents gives as much joy and happiness to the child as it does to the grandparent. Children have the ability to light up our grandparents’ lives and bring happiness and a sense of warmth and fulfillment to them.
Frequent visits are not only important for the child but also to your senior parents since through their grandkids they have the possibility to leave a lasting impact on both you and your kids.
The time we have is short and it is important to make the best out of it so that you and your child can both share memories of the wonderful moments spent with the grandparents.
Intergenerational interactions are crucial and should not be neglected since everyone starting from the child and parent and ending at the grandparent has something precious to gain.