Parents Listen Up – The Key To Emotionally Healthy Kids May Lie With YOUR Parents

Proud Grandfather Cuddling Baby Grandson at family dinner party
Proud Grandfather Cuddling Baby Grandson at family dinner party svetikd via Getty Images

Though two generations apart, the bond between a grandparent and a grandchild is one that is probably the most wholesome you’ll see.

There’s just something about the duo where one of the two is filled with innocence and the vigour to learn, and the other is ready to impart life lessons with unconditional love — because that’s what they’ve learnt matters in the end.

Not everyone gets to experience this bond, I for one wasn’t able to as my grandparents passed away either before I was born, or when I was really young.

But those of you that were, did you know it probably had an impact on your wellbeing?

According to research, children who have the privilege to be close to their grandparents actually have less behaviour and emotional problems. The study, completed by Professor Ann Buchanan from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, surveyed more than 1,500 children.

It found that increased involvement from grandparents can be vital for a child’s development which is particularly true for families where there is divorce or separation. Grandparents can often provide a source of support for their grandkids.

But this isn’t just a benefit for the kids — studies also show the relationship between the duo helps grandparents too. In fact, becoming a grandmother has a positive effect on well-being according to the National Library of Medicine research.

The study went on to reveal that grandmothers — who spent a day a week caring for children — had a reduced risk of Alzheimers.

So it’s no coincidence that grandparents brains light up when they see images of their grandkids. According to scientists who conducted a small study to see how a grandmother’s brain reacts to pictures of their grandchildren as opposed to their children, it found grandmas feel more affection toward their grandkids than their adult children.

“What really jumps out in the data is the activation in areas of the brain associated with emotional empathy,” says James Rilling, Emory professor of anthropology and lead author of the study.

“That suggests that grandmothers are geared toward feeling what their grandchildren are feeling when they interact with them. If their grandchild is smiling, they’re feeling the child’s joy. And if their grandchild is crying, they’re feeling the child’s pain and distress.”

There you have it, a grandparent and grandchild’s connection is a lot deeper than it seems!