The Rise of the Grandparent Generation: Science-Backed benefits
DALLAS, TX (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Sunday, September 10th is National Grandparent’s Day, a time to give a shout out to all the grammies and grampies who are the emergency babysitter and carpool driver. In fact, it seems grandma and grandpa are more involved in their grandchildren’s lives than ever before. But did you know the benefits go far beyond babysitting? There are some researched backed benefits of having them actively involved in your children’s lives.
We are witnessing the rise of the grandparent generation. Ann Marie Warren, PhD holder and psychologist at the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, shares how the presence of grandparents impacts a family – “They bring the history of the family to the children. They have a lot of cohesiveness and can bring a family together.”
Studies show kids who grow up with close bonds with their grandparents are less likely to be depressed as adults. The kids also have a greater understanding of who they are and who their parents are. However, the benefits go both ways. Warren informs us that, “The research suggests that about 80 percent of grandparents that have been interviewed have said they would see a positive benefit from being closer to their grandchildren.”
Grandparents who babysit grandkids regularly had a 37 percent lower mortality risk than adults who did not. Researchers suspect this has something to do with staying mentally active and having a purpose. An NIH study revealed that when grandmothers spent one day a week caring for children, it reduced their Alzheimer’s risk. But babysitting five or more days a week actually increased their risk of neurodegenerative disorders. This proves that getting the balance just right is good physically and emotionally for the whole family.
If you think your mother is more enthusiastic about her grandchildren than she is of you, may be right. Researchers at Emory University found that during scans, a grandmother’s brain associated with emotional empathy lit up when seeing photos of their grandchildren—meaning they were feeling what that child was feeling. That reaction didn’t happen when they looked at photos of their adult children
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