Grandparents are GOOD for their grandchildren.  Most of us know this, of course, as do our bank managers, but now it’s official. ‘Research shows that kids who grow up having a greater emotional closeness to their grandparents end up being far less likely to struggle with depression as adults,’ says research published  by the Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health.  ‘Raising your children near your parents and giving them the opportunity to form their own strong relationships is the greatest gift you could give them, it says.’  It helps them develop emotional intelligence (which gets you further in life than IQ), and also results in most grandparents involved like this living longer.

And the grandparent effect lasts a child’s whole lifetime.  I’ve lost count of the times someone responds to the Gospel message with,’My grandmother used to say things like that,’ or, ‘My granddad used to take me to church.’  Talking about his career options with a 30 year old recently, I said how God had everything planned out for him, before he was born, even.  ‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘My grandparents used to take me to church.  They used to say things like that.’

Grandparents are just one of the reasons God designed old age.  Our latter years are no mistake.  They are full of purpose, and blessing grandchildren is one of them.

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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