If you have children, you probably spend a considerable amount of time ensuring that the relationships they have in their lives are healthy and beneficial to them. Which brings us to this post today… Let’s give grandparents some thought. Are they really important in a child’s life, or will children get by just fine without them?
Chances are that a child will survive without grandparents, but there are just so many benefits to having grandparents in a child’s life, that their importance cannot be overlooked.
I personally feel that it is imperative for kids to have a relationship with their grandparents…if those grandparents will be a healthy influence in their lives, of course. If you have been wondering about relationships between grandparents and kids, you have come to the right place. Here are several reasons why grandparents add value to a child’s life:
14 reasons why you should include grandparents in your child’s life:
1. Grandparents provide perspective on healthy relationships.
When children see grandparents and their parents having healthy and loving relationships, they quickly realize that it is an important part of life. Children often grow older and push away from their parents if they don’t have a healthy relationship to see as a good example.
2. Stress at home can be greatly reduced by the grandparents.
If grandparents have time to spare, they can really help with keeping stress levels in the home to a minimum. Children don’t often understand when the parents are busy and their needs are taking a back seat. With the grandparents around, they can help to make dinner, read a story to the kids, or help with clean up. Just the extra set of hands can reduce the amount of stress on the actual kids.
3. Children can draw from the life experience of grandparents.
Grandparents have lived long enough to provide helpful advice to kids. Granny and gramps will often have stories to share about the past and can provide some guidance when the grandchildren are faced with challenging situations in their lives.
4. Grandparents make great babysitters.
Most grandchildren would prefer to spend time with their grandparents than with a babysitter who might be a stranger. The time that kids and grandparents spend together for “babysitting” can count as pretty good quality time.
5. Children often see their grandparents as role models.
Children don’t know it, but they are looking for role models in their lives. That’s why kids often say things like “I am going to be a mechanic, just like dad” or similar. With grandparents around, children have access to a variety of role models, and that’s healthy for them.
6. Time spent with the grandparents increases a child’s emotional intelligence.
Often parents have to spread themselves a little thin, and this can leave kids feeling like there is a gap in their lives. With grandparents around, children don’t feel the gaps quite as easy as their lives feel well-supported. Studies have found that this can lead to a better understanding and increased emotional intelligence in children.
7. Additional support is provided in parenting tasks.
Many parents experience moments in their parenting where they feel that they need a little bit of extra support. Children can act out or rebel against certain rules in the family, and this is where the grandparents can stand in and provide added support. A united front of the adults and role models in a child’s life can really bring about better understanding and acceptance in learning certain lessons in life.
8. Grandparents can provide a connection between parents and the child.
Because of the parent-child relationship, often parents and children don’t have a deeper understanding of each other’s lives. Kids don’t know about their mom and dad’s childhoods, and as they grow older, parents, in turn, don’t know everything about their kids. Grandparents can help bridge this gap by telling kids of their parents’ childhoods and by being a confidant for grandkids as they get older.
9. A relationship with grandparents allows a child access to learning new skills.
Parents don’t often have the time to teach their children how to bake, cook, fix things around the house, or similar. This is where the grandparents step up to the plate. Sending the kids to the grandparents to bake cookies will provide the children with the opportunity to learn a new skill as well as provide the grandparents with the opportunity to spend quality time with the children.
10. Spending time with grandparents promotes prosocial behavior in kids.
Prosocial behavior is behaving in such a way that it is beneficial to others. It’s the ability to help, share, promote, indulge others for their benefit and for the benefit of the entire group or community. As children who have relationships with grandparents can see prosocial behavior in action in their own family (when grandparents provide helping hands), they learn the value of and start to imitate prosocial behavior.
11. When kids spend time with their grandparents, they learn the value of healthy family relationships.
How can a child learn that it’s healthy for kids to have a deep caring and understanding relationship with their parents if they have no example of such a relationship in their own lives? When grandparents and parents of a child have a healthy relationship, children can see how healthy family relationships work and will seek out to have the same type of relationships in their own lives.
12. Grandparents provide children with a sense of unconditional love.
Everyone wants to feel unconditional love. What better way to ensure that your children experience that than by exposing them to a relationship with their doting grandparents? Grandparents tend to spoil grandkids and “have their backs” in most things. This might be vaguely annoying to the parents, but actually quite valuable to the growing child.
13. Children feel they have adults (other than parents) to confide in.
Often, children don’t want to confide their secrets or embarrassments directly with their parents. By having the grandparents around, you can rest assured that there is always a sympathetic ear available for your children; and you can rest assured that if they need to confide in someone, there is always someone around for that. The closer your kids are with their grandparents, the more sure you can be of this.
14. Grandparents provide an alternative viewpoint to children.
Kids often want to express their own viewpoints but may feel unable to do so if they only have their parents in their lives as adults. When you combine both parents and grandparents in a child’s life, they can learn to be objective, and to respective alternative or different opinions, viewpoints and ways of life. If you want your child to have an open mind and be ready to consider all concepts and viewpoints, you can start by introducing a relationship between him/her and the grandparents.
If you have been wondering if it is really all that beneficial for your children to have a relationship with their grandparents, hopefully, this has answered that question for you. Children can thrive when they have a healthy relationship with their grandparents, and there’s absolutely no doubt that your parents (the grandparents) will love having a relationship with your kids. Why be happy for your kids to simply survive without grandparents when instead they can thrive by including them in their lives.