Research shows grandparents’ brains benefit from babysitting, under the right circumstances. Need some down time? Call in Grandma & Grandpa!
When you’re a grandparent, there aren’t many things better than spending time with your grandkids (or so we were told on Facebook recently when we shared this quote on our sister site). According to recent studies, babysitting grandchildren not only brings joy, it also provides health perks — Babysitting your grandkids can increase longevity and help keep you sharp in your golden years.
Need some down time? Call in Grandma & Grandpa!
Research published in 2017 found that, over a 20-year period, the risk of dying was one-third lower for grandparents who cared for their grandchildren (Berlin Aging Study). On top of that, research conducted by the Women’s Healthy Aging Project in Australia shows that grandmothers who helped with childcare at least one day a week scored better on cognitive tests. In other words, spending time taking care of grandchildren could potentially lower one’s risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Here’s the best part, yet another study showed that spending time with grandparents has health benefits for the grandkids too! (In other words, sending the kiddos to grandma and grandpa’s house once a week is a win-win for everyone.)
The catch? Studies have also show that too much babysitting can backfire. Grandparents who babysat five or more times a week or had full-time custody of a grandchild do not enjoy the same health perks.
Be open about your preferences on the timing and amount of babysitting you’d like to do. Researcher Sonja Hilbrand explains, “As long as you do not feel stressed about the intensity of help you provide, you may be doing something good for others as well as for yourself.” If you have open, transparent discussions with your loved ones…
You will never look back on life and think, ‘I’ve spent too much time with my grandkids.'”
A big thank you to all the AWESOME grandparents out there who are openly savoring small moments with their grandkids. It is so inspiring and it helps parents cultivate small gaps of quiet for a beautiful UnBusy Life.
This article has been republished with permission from Becoming UnBusy.