Grandparents’ involvement in raising children is the new normal. As KidsHealth explains, “Establishing a bond with grandparents can benefit kids in many ways. Grandparents can be great role models and influences, and they can provide a sense of cultural heritage and family history. Grandparents provide their grandkids with love, have their best interests at heart, and can make them feel safe.” The fact is that just like you, your kids’ grandparents will love and care for your children more than anyone in the world. As Alex Haley so beautifully puts it, “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”
Here are seven reasons why this is such a positive development in the raising of a child. And hey, maybe it’s no coincidence the word “grand” is in grandparents.
1. Regular, Quality Away Time
Overnight trips to Grandma’s house, may be less traumatic than sleepovers with peers and can help kids develop independence. Make these sleepovers weekly happenings, which not only gives your kids quality time with your parents or in-laws, but also gives you a chance to take your much-deserved parenting break.
2. True Dedication
Grandparents may have lots of time to spend playing and reading to kids. They are also less likely to be consumed with their email, Smartphone or hectic schedules. Such dedicated attention only improves a child’s developmental and learning skills. Think of grandparents as yet another layer of guidance and support to add to your children’s education.
3. Been There, Done That
Grandparents have experience. Period. They raised you, didn’t they? So why not surrender to their wisdom sometimes, and let them show you how it’s done? Though many parents can be territorial when it comes to their kids, giving up some of this control allows you to gain from the perspective of someone who may know a little bit more than you. Giving your parents and in-laws this trust will inevitably strengthen your relationship with them.
Read Related: Why Kids Should Bond with Their Elders
4. The Wisdom of Distance
The emotional bond parents have to their kids can be so strong that it can sometimes backfire when it comes to parenting. Grandparents, however, are once removed from the immediacy of things, which can make them excellent arbiters when you need another parenting point of view to trust.
5. Strengthens Family Ties
By consciously creating time for your kids to spend with your parents and in-laws, you are essentially inviting the family to stay close and connected. Closeness is a practice, and the more your children feel and do it, the more poised will they be to give back as parents when their turn comes along.
6. Gives Grandparents Purpose
Many grandparents say that the love they have for their grandchildren is the greatest love they have known. This is reason enough for parents to make sure their kids have close relationships with their grandparents, who will likely feel charged, revitalized, proud, and purposeful every time they get the chance.
7. Gives You a Break
Grandparents and kids are not the only ones who benefit from these relationships. By having your parents and in-laws as backup, you’re creating space for yourself and your spouse to have some time off and have a cozy evening at home with a movie and a box of Cinnamon Grahams.
Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by HoneyMaid, and their efforts to showcase the many facets of modern American family life.