Source: The health benefits of grandparenting, Association of Health Care Journalists, 11/20/18. Most recent data available.
Neuroscientists used electromagnetic brain scans and heart-rate monitors to find out what makes people happy. They had participants do, look at, or listen to different things, and measured how happy it made them. The top stimuli for creating happiness was smiling.1
What could bring a bigger smile to your face than a giant hug from your grandkids? Is there anything better than seeing your granddaughter walk for the first time? Or your grandson’s solo in the school play? But being a grandparent isn’t always easy. We have some tips to help you get the most out of the grandparent experience, so you can keep smiling all day long.
Being a Grandparent Can Be good for You
Being a grandparent is a blast, but it’s also good for you. An Australian research study showed that grandmothers who spent time watching their grandchildren performed better on cognitive tests than those grandmothers who didn’t, and better than women that didn’t have grandchildren.2
A 20-year research study from 1985–2004 found that when grandparents had close, positive relationships with their grandchildren, both groups experienced fewer symptoms of depression. Additionally, this study found that the closer the bond, the less depression was observed.3
Having Strong relationships with grandchildren can help reduce the risks of isolation
More people live alone than ever before—about one-third of Americans older than 65 and half of those over 85.4 Loneliness can increase risk of premature death by 30%, making it as risky as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day.4 As we get older, our social circles tend to shrink as our peers and relatives move away or encounter health problems.5 Spending time with grandkids can help decrease the risk of isolation.