Grandparenting: A Labor of Love
8 Ways Grandparents Impact Families

Whether grandparents live close and are involved on a daily basis, or if they’re far away and share their love via Facetime, grandparents play an important family role. We wanted to share 8 ways that the contributions of grandparents benefit kids, parents, and families as a whole.

So what are the many ways that grandparents improve our lives?

They improve our kids’ behavior

Studies have shown that kids with a high level of grandparent involvement tend to have less emotional problems, reduced behavioral issues, and fewer challenges with peers. In fact, healthy grandparent relationships lead to less depression in both grandparents and children.

1. They offer accessible childcare

Whether or not you pay your parents for babysitting, grandparents usually charge a lot less than the local “elite academy for gifted newborns.” Even if you send your kids to formal day care, grandparents often help out in a pinch, such as caring for your sick kid while you run to a meeting or handling after-school pickup so you can finish your workday. And let’s not forget the occasional night out – grandparents help to keep your kids occupied so you can enjoy some well-deserved adult time!

2. They step up when needed

Sadly, a growing number of grandparents are finding themselves responsible for raising their grandkids. This is due to a variety of causes preventing some parents from keeping their role, such as substance abuse, incarceration, chronic illness, or untimely deaths. Whatever the case, grandparents offer a safety net for children if their parents are unable to meet their needs. 

Are you a grandparent struggling with the challenges of raising your grandkids? Click below to schedule a free 15-minute consultation to learn how one of our specialists can help

3. They increase lifespans

Cultures with involved grandparents experience less infant and childhood mortality, as grandparents often provide financial and emotional resources that improve their family’s quality of life. And great news for grandparents: their role doesn’t just benefit the kids - it also helps grandparents live longer too! Research has shown that involved grandparents lead longer, more fulfilling lives and stay more mentally sharp as they age.

4. They give undivided attention

Making lunches, folding laundry, signing permission slips - with so many responsibilities, parents can have a hard time removing distractions and fully engaging with their kids. Grandparents on the other hand, tend to have a lot less responsibilities for the grandkids, so they’re able to devote more attention to playing, teaching, and listening. These enriching interactions can remove some of the guilt that parents may feel for being spread thin throughout the day.

5. They hand down heritage

Many grandparents find importance in sharing traditions and heritage with their grandkids. They might teach them age-old holiday customs, religious practices, and ancestral stories. They may teach them skills that younger generations no longer practice, such as making cultural crafts, cooking traditional meals, or speaking in their native language. These warm, nostalgic lessons increase the bond and positive memories between grandparents and grandkids.

6. They offer experience

While younger generations can teach their grandparents all about cool new trends, grandparents have plenty of knowledge to pass down as well. By sharing their wisdom on relationships, values, financial management, and major life decisions, they equip the next generation to overcome challenges and achieve success.

7. They can be a confidante

Grandparents often serve as a trusted confidante for grandkids, as they’re aware of the family’s ups and downs but are less directly impacted. For example, if a child is struggling with their parents’ divorce or remarriage, they might feel more comfortable opening up to their grandparents since they’re less involved in the situation than their parents are. 

Want a better grandparent relationship? 

A Grandparent’s value can be immeasurable to our lives, but sometimes family issues prevent grandparents from being involved. If arguments, in-law drama, or any other challenges have prevented your family from enjoying a healthy grandparent relationship, our specialists can help.

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Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.

Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).

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How to Cite This Blog Article:

Shinn. M.M. (2019). Grandparenting: A Labor of Love 8 Ways Grandparents Impact Families. Psychologically Speaking. [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from