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If children are so blessed to have their grandparents healthy and present in their lives, there’s every reason to count our blessings and spend more time together. It sounds sobering but time with the grandparents is precious indeed, so let’s make every minute count.

The free childcare is, of course, awesome, but there’s a lot more to hanging out with the grands than this! (Grandma’s or Grandpa’s wonderful home cooked food is another excellent reason!)

If you’re wondering what you can do with the grandparents, you may want to check out Families for Life #CelebratingOurGrands 2020, online activities happening on 3 to 17 October! We’ve got a whole line up of things to do to really celebrate the special grands in your lives and make the most of these precious moments together.

Here’re five solid and science-backed reasons why you should really think about prioritising time with the grands, if you haven’t already:

1. More unconditional love for all

Life can be a real frenzy for the little ones, especially with mommy and daddy so busy at work all the time. It’s a good thing that grandparents have the time to sit down and enjoy the moments with the grandchildren, without the pressures of work and other responsibilities that come with being a parent. The feeling is mutual - children know that they’re immeasurably treasured by their grandparents and will also shower their grands with a special love that’s reserved for them.

Grandparents stay healthier, grandchildren stay happier

The verdict is out that grandparents who help babysit their grandchildren actually live longer! Latest research has shown that grandparents who helped babysit their grandchildren occasionally had a 37% lower risk of death over a 20 year period. The grandkids benefit too: a study conducted by Brigham Young University in the USA shows that grandchildren who have close relationships with their grandparents are happier too. So go on and ask for some babysitting help from grands, it’s good for everyone!

Kids learn to be less ageist

One of the best things that the grands teach the kids is how to love and embrace older folks. Curiously, studies have shown that children as young as three may hold some ageist attitudes. However, children who grow up with close ties with their grandparents seem to have more positive opinions about older folks in general, especially when they respect and love their grands as loving family members whose opinions and feelings matter.

Everyone learns from each other

Spending time together opens up golden opportunities for the grands and the kids to learn from each other. Grandparents tell captivating stories about life back then, pass on family traditions and recipes at mealtimes, and have an ever-ready supply of games and jokes to play with the kids. Grandchildren, on the other hand, are the best teachers of technology, trends and pop culture, and can help their grandparents adapt to what’s going on in the world today.

An intergenerational identity for more resilient children

When children learn about their family and what their grands lived through, they gain more than just an interesting story. They hear for themselves how Grandma or Grandpa overcame tough times themselves and this helps them see past their own adversity. Children who understand their family history and how they fit into it seem to be more resilient and are better able to cope with stresses later in life. So go on and encourage the grands to keep telling those “Last time, when Grandpa was a young boy…” stories!