Now more than ever, grandparents need to be close to their grandchildren.
In our day and age, there is a rise in busy, working families as well as single parent families; this is one of the reasons why it is important that children and grandparents have a strong relationship. Grandparental involvement is beneficial for everyone, including the child’s parents, as they can ensure that their children are being looked after if they themselves are unable to be present as much as they like.
Research shows that a strong connection with grandparents proves beneficial for a child’s wellbeing.
The University of Oxford has conducted a study which shows how and why grandparental involvement can promote a child’s wellbeing. The study was conducted by Professor Ann Buchanan from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention and looked at over 1,500 children. Buchanan’s research showed that those whose grandparents were more involved in their lives had less emotional and behavioral problems. This is especially true since many children and adolescents can turn to their grandparents for support during difficult times such as when their parents are going through divorce or separation. What is more, the research revealed that grandfathers and grandmothers impact children in different ways; that is, grandfathers usually participate in activities and mentoring whereas grandmothers nurture and provide emotional support.
The love of a grandparent is patient, unconditional and comforting.
Aside from the fact that grandparents can babysit when parents are busy, they can also provide the calm and patient support which children need but might not get from their parents. In other words, grandparents tend to be more patient and understanding so children are likely to share more with them than with their parents. Moreover, a strong connection with their grandparents gives children a better sense of who they are and where they come from. In addition to this, they feel an increased sense of stability and security as they know they can rely on other adults apart from their parents.
Ultimately, grandparental involvement is necessary as it can have a positive effect on children’s wellbeing – of course, a strong connection is beneficial for the grandparents too as it gives them a sense of purpose and makes them feel needed as well.