Studies show that grandchildren are more secure and happier when they spend time with them

Parents might fear that allowing their children to visit their grandparents will turn them into spoiled brats. But that isn’t really the case.

If you had the good fortune to spend time with your grandparents as a child, you probably have some wonderful memories to reflect on. While you were spending time with them, you may not have realized that they were giving you the tools you needed to grow up to be a more secure and contented person.

Grandparents are crucial to a child’s wellbeing in a variety of ways, including by offering them a little extra love and care and by assisting them in navigating difficult situations like bullying or a divorce. There is now scientific evidence to support this.

While some parents may believe that giving their kids too much time with their grandparents will only result in spoilt brats, science says otherwise. According to a study done at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, kids who have close bonds with their grandparents tend to have fewer issues both emotionally and behaviorally. Children also have less trouble relating to and maintaining relationships with peers than adults do. More than 1,500 children were surveyed for the study by Professor Ann Buchanan of the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, which showed that grandparents’ increased involvement can be very important for a child’s development. The study also discovered that grandfathers act as mentors to their grandchildren, while grandmothers take on a more nurturing role.

The co-founder of the Agresta Psychotherapy Group in Englewood, Kimberly Agresta, has also observed important advantages to allowing grandparents to be more involved in their grandchildren’s lives. She said in an interview that if parents regularly include grandparents in their child’s life, the child can form a strong emotional bond with the grandparent and start to view them as a source of social support. The feeling that they have other adults who love and care about them in the same way as their parents will help a child feel more stable and secure. This feeling of security may be crucial as a child transitions through different stages of development.

In potentially traumatic circumstances, such as when a child’s parents are divorcing or they are the target of bullying at school, she continued,  “In potentially traumatic situations, like if a child’s parents are divorcing or they’re being bullied at school, those situations are less impactful because they have other people in their lives who they have these attachments to and support from.”  This is due to the fact that grandparents rarely assume parental responsibilities because there aren’t any consequences to be meted out or duties to be held accountable for. Agresta shared the various roles grandparents play and said, “Since grandparents are generally not responsible for disciplining or raising the child, they’re able to love the child a little more freely and unconditionally than a parent,” Agresta explained, sharing the various roles grandparents take on. “Grandparents are a wealth of knowledge and information, and not only can they pass on valuable skills from real-life experience, but they can also share the past with their grandchildren. They can serve as historians, sharing all kinds of traditions and stories about when their own children were growing up, which creates a sense of continuity for a child.” Therefore, it appears that scheduling a play date for your kids with your parents is in order.