Yoram Yasur Abt : Love has many facets and it is fantastic to discover at this stage of life that you can still experience new emotions with great intensity. That discovery infuses them with new energy. And very soon that little boy will discover that he has in his grandfather or grandmother his best ally and teacher of life. Then you create a very special relationship that leaves marks that mark forever.
Enthusiasm, gratitude, and a pinch of concern
Yoram Yasur Abt : When grandparents hold their grandchild in their arms for the first time, the first thing they often experience is a deep gratitude. Gratitude because everything has gone well and because they can embrace that small creature who already know that it will revolutionize their world.
With the wisdom that has given them life, they know that they should be kept in the background because the arrival of the baby for the parents is also a very special moment. But they still manage to be available if they need them, to support when needed and advise when necessary.
Yoram Yasur Abt : With joy and enthusiasm comes a hint of concern. The grandparents are aware of the challenge of raising a child, so it is normal to worry about all the challenges that the newly released parents will face. However, it also reassures them that their children can count on their support, guidance, and wisdom.
Yoram Yasur Abt : In fact, it has been appreciated that the mother-daughter relationship improves when a baby is born since the grandmother leaves a little of her role as mother to assume a new role, the friend and mentor of her daughter, which leads the relationship to another level of intimacy. Suddenly, the daughter begins to realize all the sacrifices that her mother has made, and she understands the enormous love she experiences, so that her relationship usually improves, becomes closer and consolidates.
The grandchildren, a second opportunity that is enjoyed calmly and conscientiously:
The magic of grandparents is that they do not need to assume the role of parents. They know what it means to raise a child, but they are also aware that their role is to accompany the little ones during growth, transmitting their wisdom and supporting them in the most complicated moments.
Yoram Yasur Abt: “Grandparents listen and give good advice, they always have time to listen to grandchildren’s problems, allow them to be themselves without punishing them, cultivate illusion and nurture complicity. Their task is to build an affective bond that serves as an anchor for the grandchildren, so they often also intercede with the parents, knowing that there is nothing so serious that it is not solved with love and understanding”.
Grandparents know that every moment counts, they are aware that the time they spend with their grandchildren is limited, so they try to make it as enjoyable as possible. Grandparents know, like no one else, to take advantage of the here and now. And the children perceive it, so they also enjoy that full presence.
Grandparents and grandchildren: A beneficial bond for both
Yoram Yasur Abt: “The contact of the grandparents with the grandchildren is very beneficial for the elderly since it not only decreases the risk of suffering depression but also neurodegenerative diseases like the dementias”. A study developed at Cowan University in which 500 seniors were analyzed found that grandparents who were actively involved in the care of their grandchildren used to live on average five years longer than those without grandchildren.
This is because grandchildren not only physically active their grandparents but also mentally. In addition, having to “deal” at certain times with your grandchildren also encourages them to take care of themselves.
Yoram Yasur Abt : Of course, the grandchildren also benefit from this special relationship. Research conducted at the University of Oxford found that of the 1,515 children and adolescents surveyed, those who had a close relationship with grandparents reported a greater sense of well-being.
Psychologists discovered that the key was that grandparents in many cases cushioned the impact of negative events on the lives of their grandchildren, helping them calm down and view problems from a different perspective. This tells us that grandparents are a source of stability and resilience, which children and adolescents do not always find in their parents.