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Grandparents Are Special

The role grandparents play in the lives of young children is essential. Often, the bond between a grandparent and a grandchild rivals only the emotional bond between a parent and a child. Children benefit when their grandparents are active in their lives. Let’s face it; grandparents are special – really special. Even as adults, we remember the feeling of curling up in a grandparent's lap, or getting just a little spoiled by them with covert treats and a knowing wink. Known for bear hugs, smiles, and laughs, Grandparents hold a special place in a child's heart.

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The Bond Between Children and Their Grandparents Benefits Everyone

Studies have shown that grandparents who have a close bond with their grandchildren are less likely to experience anxiety, loneliness, and/or depression. Children who have loving and engaged grandparents are also less likely to struggle with these conditions.

Through special time spent together, both grandparents and grandchildren report feeling happier and more satisfied in life. A majority of adults credit their grandparents for playing a pivotal role in shaping their beliefs, values, morals, attitude, and behaviors.

Grandparents as Caregivers

Grandparents Day is even more special in today’s society because more and more grandparents are providing care to their grandchildren. It is increasingly common for Grandparents to be the primary caregiver when both parents are working, as well as providing a much-needed respite so parents can take a night out together. Grandparents who live far away from their grandchildren can maintain a close relationship through frequent visits and by phone calls, writing letters, Facetime/Skype, and emailing between visits.

Grandparents Help a Child's Emotional Development

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Grandparents offer a lot more than just free babysitting every once in awhile. Relationships between children and their grandparents provides several benefits, including lessons from grandparents about emotional and social intelligence. Emotional intelligence, or the ability to be aware of, control and express emotions, is a trait that children will be watching and learning throughout their lives. When they spend time with their grandparents, children learn how people they trust (besides their parents) express emotions.

Grandma and grandpa's home is the perfect place to start showing your children that they are loved, safe, and secure in other homes. Your children need to see how other families work, how other relationships succeed, and how other homes can be safe and loving too.

Grandparents are Awesome

To celebrate Grandparent's Day this Monday, we put together a list of some of the reasons why Grandparents are awesome!

They are happy to see you. No matter how often kids see their grandparents, the sight of a grandkid's face brings an incredible amount of joy to a grandparent's life. Everyone loves knowing they were the best part of someone's day.

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They bend the rules a little. A healthy parent/grandparent relationship needs clear boundaries and a mutual understanding of the way parents raise their kids, so it's important not to take the rule-bending too far. But if a Grandparent wants to let a child stay up a little later, indulge in a rare after-dinner snack, or read an extra story at bedtime, it strengthens their bond with their Grandchildren (without undermining parents).

They say 'yes' for things parents may say 'no' too. Who doesn't remember being a kid and wanting a treat without eating all of your vegetables? Mom giving the look and Grandma winking as if to say "I got you", while slipping a little treat under the table? Grandparents can get away with a little spoiling, which gives them a special place in a child's (and a Mom's) heart.

They tell great stories. Grandparents are the bearers of a family's history. They pass on family traditions and regale Grandchildren about how life 'used to be'. While kids may get a little antsy listening to such tales when they are really young, they will savor them for the rest of their life. (Note: Be sure to write the family stories down. You'll want to tell them to your grandkids someday.)

They like to play. Grandparents love to play. They can spend hours making batches of cookies, creating cool crafts, playing games, reading stories, and much more. Exhausted parents may not have the energy at the end of a long day to play, but you can usually count on Grandparents to be up for a good time.

They make kids feel special. Grandparents truly believe their grandchildren are the best and brightest around. They fawn over a stick figure drawing as though it were a Renoir, are eager to hear about a kid's day, and are always up for a big bear hug!

Why are your grandparents awesome? What fun things do your parents like to do with your children? Let us know in the comments!

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