You now how another reason to spoil your grandkids, and it’s actually been recommended by scientists!
A new study out of Boston College looked at the relationship between a close relationship with your grandparents and your overall mental health, and what they found is pretty concrete.
“We found that an emotionally close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship was associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations,” said Sara M. Moorman, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the Institute on Aging at Boston College. “The greater emotional support grandparents and adult grandchildren received from one another, the better their psychological health.”
It also benefits the grandparents as well! The study found that grandparents who gave (and received) tangible support like rides to the store, help with chores, or money when things get tight, experienced fewer symptoms of depression over time.
“Grandparents have a wealth of experience — they’ll often tell stories about their lives and how things worked when they were young, and once kids become adults, they’re able to maximize those lessons,” said Moorman.
But Shalhevet Attar-Schwartz, the author of a similar study in Israel, also points out that it’s largely up to the parents to help bridge that relationship between their kids and their parents.
“Parents should be aware of their role as gatekeepers in the relationship between their children and their parents,” Attar-Schwartz said. “They should also be aware of grandparents’ potential to be an important resource in their children’s lives, especially if the family is undergoing a change, such as divorce or remarriage, or if the child is undergoing a painful or challenging experience… Sometimes children feel that it is easier to open up to their grandparents and share their difficulties and dilemmas with them.”
So now that you know your presence as grandparents is beneficial for their health, there’s never an excuse for your kids to not visit with their little ones!