Children are a blessing, to talk more of grandchildren, they are ‘little bundles of joy’. Raising a child can be sometimes difficult but always amazing. Their next move, action or reaction can never be predicted. Their voices and movements are always fascinating.
Memories shared with grandparents are the best because they are always a mixture of love, comfort, care, hugs, and kisses. Yup, lots of kisses and hugs. Sometimes as adults, we spend less time with our children due to work or other responsibilities, but it is best we leave them in the protective hands of their grandparents. This would increase their knowledge and increase the lifespan of their grandparents- a win-win solution.
A recent study from the National Health Service found out that grandparents who babysit their grandchildren or children who aren’t related to them live longer than those who don’t.
Another study in Berlin also looked at over 500 adults that are age 70 and older over the span of 20 years from the Berlin Aging Study (BASE). The study aimed at investigating the effect of caregiving on mortality. These participants were interviewed and underwent medical tests in two-years intervals. Researchers found out that grandparents who babysit their grandchildren had 37 percent chances of living longer than those who didn’t.
The report, however, couldn’t pinpoint the reason for this but it concluded that helping others gives people a sense of purpose, and keeps them physically and mentally active. Also, the study reported that helping adult children also helps you live longer.
Helping people improve wellbeing and connect you with other people, helping you build a sense of belonging and self-worth while giving you the opportunity to share positive experiences.
‘Caregiving may give caregivers a purpose of life because caregivers may feel useful for the others and for the society,’ said Bruno Arpino, an associate professor at Pompetu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain.
‘Having no contact with grandchildren at all can negatively impact the health of grandparents,’ said lead author Sonja Hilbrand, a doctoral student in the department of psychology at the University of Basel in Switzerland.
Hilbrand also said that there is a link between grandparents and grandchildren. She also said that ‘the link could be a mechanism deeply noted in over evolutionary past when help with childcare was crucial for the survival of the human species.’
So instead of calling a teenager to help watch the kids when you go out, try calling your parents. Sometimes you might feel a slight tinge of guilt when you ask your parents to babysit but feel guilty no more because it’s for the best. Babysitting helps to improve cognitive functioning as well as physical and mental health. But it is also important that the grandparents should truly want to be involved so it wouldn’t be stressful for them.
Also, as a grandparent, there are lists of activities you can enjoy with your grandchildren. Children are very inquisitive, so as a grandparent, you can also teach them how to be a good gardener, how to knit, bake or sew. Try including them in your hobbies. Remember, health is wealth.