The Valuable Role of Grandparents

Published: September 1, 2023

The Valuable Role of Grandparents

As families become smaller and more distanced, grandparents aren’t acting as primary caregivers as often as they have in the past. According to the AARP’s 2019 Grandparent survey, only one in 10 grandparents live with their grandchildren, and less than 38% provide any type of childcare. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t close to their grandchildren. In fact, maintaining a close relationship between the generations improves the health and well-being of both grandparents and grandchildren.

There are more grandparents now than ever before. By the age of 65, 96% of Americans are grandparents. And longer lifespans mean that grandparents are in their grandchildren’s lives for longer. Let’s take a look at the many important roles that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren.

Grandparents pass on wisdom. Parenting trends have changed a lot over the years. But most grandparents still believe they have good information to pass on to their adult children about parenting. And grandparents have decades of life experience and skills to pass on to the next generations.

Grandparents are the family historians. Kids love to hear stories about what their parents were like when they were younger, and nobody has more stories like this than grandparents. Beyond that, they can relay stories of the ancestors who came before them. From stories of struggle and perseverance to celebration and joy, grandparents are a wealth of knowledge.

Grandparents pass on their culture. Most Americans consider themselves to be third-generation Americans, meaning their grandparents were born in the United States after a previous generation immigrated. And up to two-thirds of all Hispanic Americans are first- or second-generation Americans. So, these grandparents may be quite knowledgeable about cultural traditions that help maintain our links to the past. Whether that is language, traditional meals, or holiday celebrations, grandparents connect their grandchildren with their heritage. According to the AARP, one-third of grandparents have a grandchild of a different race or ethnicity, so this intergenerational sharing of traditions can go both ways!

Grandparents can stay active with their grandchildren. Becoming a grandparent gives older adults a big incentive to pay attention to their own health. Afterall, it won’t be long before that new grandbaby is a busy, active toddler. And research shows us that even when distanced, modern grandparents are prioritizing active vacations and outings with grandchildren.

This Grandparents Day, we celebrate the unique bond between grandparents and grandchildren. This relationship is multifaceted, deeply emotional, and plays a crucial role in the well-being and development of both parties. Whether it’s providing support in challenging times, sharing cultural values, or simply being a source of love and care, grandparents hold a special place in the hearts and lives of their grandchildren.

Source: IlluminAge