Grandparents are crucial in the lives of children, but unfortunately, we are often too old to recreate the experiences from our childhood when we finally appreciate them.
If you have spent much of your childhood with your grandma, you probably have vivid memories of your relationship, and gladly remember her smell, the food she cooked for you, her home décor, her voice and stories, her laugh, and your playtime.
If she is no longer among the living, you surely remember her with tears in the eyes.
Grandparents have an important role in the upbringing of the children, pass on important traditions, and are of great help to parents in difficult times. Current Biology published two studies that confirmed the impact of grandmothers on the lives of mothers and their children.
In the first study, researchers explored the history of Finland, an area that is now Quebec, Canada, to understand the role of grandmothers in these populations.
They found that grandmothers impacted family size, and those who lived farther away from grandma had fewer children. Also, women who lived closer to grandma were found to begin having children at younger ages, and the number of child mortality instances was lower.
In the second study, scientists investigated the impacts of grandmas in the preindustrial Finish people between 1731 to 1895 and found that women had more children when grandma lived close by, and the toddlers’ chance of surviving was increased by 30%.
Nowadays, the role of the grandmother is not recognized and appreciated as it used to be in the olden days. Many couples tend to live farther due to the rocky or strained relationship with their parents.
Also, many of the parents continue to work into their 60’s and 70’s, so any emotional and financial support is just not what it used to be.
Yet, if you are a parent and you have tolerable parents, remember that your children will have some of their best days in life due to their grandparents. Even though they may not be able to offer financial support or emotional stability, they always have an extra set of hands, warm hugs, interesting stories, and lots of love to offer.
Susan Newman, a social psychologist and author of “Little Things Mean a Lot: Creating Happy Memories with Your Grandchildren” claims that grandparents are great at calming children when they’re ailing and teaching and playing with them when they’re well.
They are a kind of security blanket, as children see them as somebody they trust and know is always on their side. Their grandparents are always the ones around who are comforting, and unlike their parents, grandparents have “infinite patience” and often, more time to spare.
Grandparents provide stability, safety, wisdom, and fun. On the other hand, the time spent with grandchildren was found to stave off depression, boost social connections and keep older adults mentally sharp.
Moreover, shared interests like games, baking, sports, and flying kites, bring happiness to both generations.