Studies indicate that not only is it beneficial for children when their grandparents are involved in their lives but it is good for grandparents as well. Dr. Karl Pillemer of Cornell University suggests that the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is “second in emotional importance only to the relationship between parent and child.” He reports that, “9 out of 10 adult grandchildren feel their grandparents influenced their values and behaviors,” and that, “grandparents transmit to their grandchildren the values and norms of social order.” Furthermore, the renowned anthropologist, Margaret Mead states that, “Connections between the generations are essential for the mental health and stability of a nation.”
In another study from Sara M. Moorman, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the Institute on Aging at Boston College, she found that “grandparents and grandchildren have real, measurable effects on each other’s psychological well-being long into grandchildren’s adulthood.” She adds that fewer symptoms of depression are associated for either generations when a close emotional relationship exists between grandchildren and their grandparents.
Being a grandparent means you have the freedom to unconditionally love your grandchild without the stress and worry that parents experience in the day-to-day raising of the child. Grandparents can just enjoy the child and accept them for who they are. Also with so many children now being raised in two-career or single parent households, grandparents can help to relieve some of the stress parents are faced with.
Another benefit of grandparents is that they bring a different perspective to a child’s life based on their own life experiences. Grandparents’ interactions with their grandchildren are influenced by factors such as culture, ethnicity, gender, race, family traditions, and personal history. Researchers have even identified various styles of grand-parenting that include: family historian/living ancestor, the nurturer, the mentor, the role model, the playmate, the wizard, and the hero. However regardless of the type of grandparent you are, we know it is as good for your well-being as it is for your grandchild.
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