Children are born into families, and families come in varying shapes and sizes. For some, there exists a multitude of aunts, uncles, and other extended family members, but the relationship a child has with a grandparent has proven to be beneficial to both the younger and older counterparts.
A study conducted by Boston College researchers determined that emotional ties between an adult grandchild and their grandparent resulted in a lesser number of symptoms related to depression. Data to determine this was collected over a period of 19 years.
The two generations offer different perspectives to one another. The grandchild offers new ideas that the grandparent may not otherwise be exposed to while the elder of the two is able to offer advice from a place of life experience that can benefit a young adult navigating through life. The new-age ideas a grandchild can share with their grandparent also keeps the latter’s mind sharp. An Australian study showed that grandparents who watched their grandkids once per week scored higher on cognitive tests than individuals without grandchildren.
The child-to-grandparent bond shows a greater impact on improving emotional and behavioral problems when the child is close with their parents as well. An Israeli study is responsible for these findings. Parents are able to bridge the generation gap between grandchildren and their grandparents, which shapes the relationship and influences the strength of the bond overall.
The popular saying “It takes a village…” could easily be interchanged with “It takes a family…” With the benefits strong family ties present to both the older and younger individuals in a family dynamic, it is hard to deny the necessity of family; however, every family is different. Even with a shortage in biological family members, it is possible to create a family all on one’s own. Surround yourself with people who love and respect you, and you have a family.