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How Grandparents Can Foster Healthy Behaviors in Grandchildren

Lovely grandchildren telling interesting stories to beloved grandparents

A visit from the grandparents is often a special event for children. It is a time to receive extra love and attention, make memories and deepen the familial bond. However, grandchildren who receive regular visits from their grandparents benefit in other meaningful ways. According to Youth Villages, one in 20 minors in the United States is currently in the foster care system. These are children who grow up with diminished family bonds, including relationships with their grandparents. Some children have never known family at all, which can have detrimental results on their lives. How does frequent interaction with grandparents benefit the grandchildren?

The Impact on Risky Behaviors

According to several studies highlighted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the additional nurture by grandparents plays a critical role in reducing risky behaviors as the children grow up. Specifically, grandparents who have a stronger relationship and spend greater time with their grandchildren have a bond that lowers the risk of drug use and smoking in children. These behaviors impact overall health and wellness, performance in school, relationships with others and other key areas of the children's lives.

Reinforcement of Healthy Habits

In addition to reducing the risk of undesired behaviors, a strong relationship between grandparents and grandkids also promotes healthy behaviors. For example, when this bond is strong, children have better nutritional and eating habits. They are less likely to be obese and to suffer the effects of obesity throughout life. These children may be exposed to the interests and hobbies of grandparents, which encourages them to be passionate about trying new things and exploring aspects of life that they are not currently familiar with.

The Development of Life Skills

Grandparents often tell fascinating stories about their various experiences in life. These experiences shed light on how the world once was as well as how the grandparents resolved their challenges. In addition to learning from the past through these stories, grandchildren enhance their active listening skills. This directly impacts relationships with others as well as performance in school and later at work.

A Link to Family History

The world can grow both bigger and more intimate at the same time when a child learns about family history. Family history does more than share where the family is from. It defines the roots of the family. Stories that the grandparents heard from their own grandparents are passed down to the next generation. At the same time, children who learn about family history from their grandparents understand how their own family members endured through major historical events. Being a strong listener with an understanding of the past also fosters compassion and plays a role in mental health.

As a grandparent, you have a considerable impact on the well-being and behaviors of your grandchildren today that can benefit them throughout their lives. Because of the benefits of spending time with your grandkids regularly, being an active part of their lives should be prioritized. Even if your grandchildren do not reside nearby, regular interaction is possible through phone calls, video calls and periodic visits.

Written By

Brittany Cotton

Brittany Cotton is an article writer that focuses on health, wellness, and business. In her free time, you can find her reading, writing, and trying new recipes.

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