Often times we wonder how to get grandparents more involved in the family, especially when they live far away. Well, with these ideas it can help you get grandma and grandpa more involved!
How to Get Grandparents More Involved
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Family life has changed a great deal over the last forty years. In the past, the task of raising children was more of a community endeavor with many people, including grandparents chipping in. But as the nature of work changed and families moved apart for economic reasons, the role of grandparents declined. Now the majority of the work involved in family life is done in the nuclear family itself, with grandma and grandpa not as involved.
According to experts they say raising a child, takes a village, not just one or two.
The benefits of having grandparents around for mental health is well-documented. In a famous study by Boston College. In fact, researchers found that the presence of grandparents dramatically reduced the severity and incidence of depression among all familial generations.
Having grandparents around makes a big difference to the quality of life. So, here’s how we can involve Grandparents in our kids’ lives.
Grandparents Can Get On Board With Technology
There’s a stereotypical view out there that the elderly aren’t up to date when it comes to technology. They don’t like computers, smartphones or even email. But. according to A Place For Mom, more than half of all seniors use social media, and three-quarters are on the internet. Now, they might not have as much technology lying around the house, but many are getting to grips with this brave new world, which is great for kids because it allows them to have a new way to communicate.
Grandparents Provide Perspective
It’s easy for parents and children to think that the world has always been the way that it is. But go back sixty or seventy years, and things were very different. There was no Netflix, no internet, no home computers. And certainly no mobile phones. In fact, some people didn’t even have bathrooms in their homes and had to go to an outhouse to take a bath. There were also terrible wars and struggles with poverty. Life wasn’t always easy.
The elderly can provide your family with some perspective on what life used to be like. They can share own experiences with your kids. They may remember things like rationing, queuing up for bread, old TV programs, and things about the family that nobody knew were true. In short, grandparents can teach everybody else things that they cannot learn from anyone else!
Grandparents Love Being A Part Of Family Life
Some grandparents live in assisted living, something we hear more and more about every day. But that doesn’t mean that they want no part in family life. Research shows that rather than wanting their independence, most grandparents yearn to be a part of family life and play a role. It gives them purpose. According to one study, 74 percent of grandparents say that their position as the head of the family is the most satisfying part of their lives.
Grandparents Help Parents Get Better At What They Do
Grandparents can do a lot to make life a little easier for parents. Rather than having to pay for babysitters or take children with them on errands in the car, parents can offload some of the day-to-day responsibilities to grandparents, benefiting both themselves and their kids.
Grandparents also help financially, often without realizing it by providing transport to places (saving on fuel), food, and entertainment. Met Life, the insurer, suggests that the older generation spends as much as $1,700 a year on their grandchildren each year, often inadvertently.
Children Raised By Grandparents And Parents Feel More Secure
What about the effect of shared parenting on the children themselves? Studies suggest that kids who are raised by both parents and grandparents feel more secure in themselves and have more confidence. As they grow up, they rest assured in the knowledge that there are many people they can rely on for help and advice. This community spirit rubs off on them, and they feel more able to take on some of life’s biggest challenges.
Children also have more parental resources available to them. If mom and dad are busy, they can just ask grandma and grandpa for their two cents. Having more than one caregiver is especially crucial for children who have many siblings.
Children Raised By Grandparents Have Better Social Skills
As parents, we want our children to succeed in the real world. Most importantly, we want them to have great relationships and careers in the future – two of the things that matter most in life.
But how to give them the best head start?
A 2013 study showed that 98 percent of children learn essential social skills from grandma and grandpa. These include things which are sometimes lost in our current “post-modern” era, such as the difference between right and wrong, and the importance of good manners. Although the culture says that these things aren’t as important (or even valid) anymore, that may change in the future, and those children will be poised to adapt to that new world.
Having high moral standards is also essential for living with integrity. Grandparents can teach children about the importance of sticking to one’s values, even when it’s difficult. Being a strong person is all about having the courage to defend what you believe and live without making compromises. This isn’t something that is taught in school.
Grandparents Provide Child Care
The cost of childcare rises every year, usually faster than the rate of inflation. It’s a significant strain on family finances, leaving many in debt. Roping in grandparents helps to reduce or eliminate this bill, resulting in more money for happy family activities, like vacations.
So there you have it! Easy ways to get Grandparents more involved that will benefit the whole family!
Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!