Bond Between Grandparents and Grandkids Benefits Both

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What used to be the “golden years” of life for seniors is now turning into any opportunity to spend even more time with their youngest family members. Nowadays, a growing number of grandparents are called on to provide child care for their grandkids, many of whom are growing up in two-income households. Others are helping to raise grandkids while providing financial assistance for adult children who may not be able to live on their own.

This trend has been corroborated in a few recent studies. Information from the Pew Research Center showed 7.7 million children in the United States were living in the same household as one of their grandparents in 2011. A University of Chicago analysis of a decade of data based on interviews with 13,614 grandparents, ages 50 and older, found that 61 percent of grandparents provided at least 50 hours of care for their grandchildren during any given year between 1998 and 2008. And an April 2012 study for the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the nonprofit Generations United, an intergenerational policy group, found that 74 percent of respondents provided weekly child care or babysitting service for grandkids.

Grandparents often cite helping their own children financially as well as staying in touch with grandchildren as motivating factors behind providing care. According to Generations United, staying in touch with grandkids can give seniors a feeling of self-worth and improve their overall health.

When spending so much time together, grandparents may develop special relationships with their grandchildren, who may benefit from the knowledge and wisdom offered by their elders. The following are some lessons grandparents can share with youngsters.

* Empathy: By sharing stories of how things were when they were younger, when opportunities may have been more scarce, grandparents can help teach grandchildren empathy. Grandchildren may learn to be grateful for the things they have and the people around them, rather than taking what they have for granted.

* Family history: Grandparents can tell grandchildren about family members, including youngsters’ own parents, and shed light on the generations that came before them. Looking through photos or watching old movies can provide the avenue by which to start conversations about family history and give children opportunities to ask questions.

* Interests: Children may be excited about learning new skills or hobbies taught to them by their grandparents. Anything from gardening to woodworking can be shared.

* Respect: Children who grow up respecting their grandparents may have an increased tendency to respect authority figures outside their homes, which may help kids grow up to be more courteous and kind.

Grandchildren also offer benefits to their grandparents. Companionship, new experiences and conversation can help keep grandparents’ minds sharp and bodies active well into their golden years.

Related Items:

Staten Island Seniors

Staten Island Parent’s Grandparents Column

More Parenting Articles



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  1. Opera Classes

    October 18
    October 18, 2017  |  12:00 am - 11:59 pm
    Garibaldi-Meucci Museum
    Lou Barrella. Class meets weekly from October 11 to November 15. Please contact the museum for more details.
  2. Evening Group Hike

    October 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  8:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Please note that this event has moved back to the Greenbelt Nature Center Most Wednesdays – Check the Facebook page – “The Greenbelt Conservancy” for updates. The hike is moderately paced, Bring a headlamp along as it is beginning to
  3. It’s My Park at Northerleigh Park

    October 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  8:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Northerleigh Park
    This It’s My Park season, please join Westerleigh Parks Coalition to clean and beautify Northerleigh Park. We look forward to cleaning up the park with you!
  4. THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow

    October 18 @ 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Staten Island Mall
    Staten Island Mall in New Springville will host THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow, a highly visual, educational and free traveling installation of larger than life LEGO replicas of some of our nation’s most beloved landmarks. Ten one-of-a-kind, large scale models of
  5. Staten Island Babywearers

    October 18 @ 11:15 am
    October 18, 2017  |  11:15 am - 11:15 am
    West New Brighton Library
    Want to learn the skills to being a good babywearer? Join us as we host Staten Island’s first peer to peer babywearing group, led by a certified babywearing educator! For parents and caregivers. Feel free to bring your babies!
  6. Clay Day

    October 18 @ 1:30 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  1:30 pm - 1:30 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Satisfy a “knead” by working with some air-dry clay and create a tactile piece.
  7. Science Time

    October 18 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Join us for this daily program on problem solving, inquiry and creative thinking. Activities include meetings animals from our Bugs exhibit, playing with solar cars, solving puzzle and games or building structures. Time is subject to change each day
  8. Children Craft

    October 18 @ 3:30 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  3:30 pm - 3:30 pm
    South Beach Library
  9. Slime Making!

    October 18 @ 3:30 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  3:30 pm - 3:30 pm
    Huguenot Library
    Pre-register
  10. Picture Book Time

    October 18 @ 4:00 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  4:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    New Dorp Library
    Enjoy hearing books read aloud, finger plays action rhymes and coloring.