Family is very important to everyone, it’s what shapes us as people and contributes to our proper mental and physical development. The stronger the bond between family members, the better for its members.
According to research, loneliness and similar psychological factors can cause serious physical problems. Science has proven that people who feel isolated, alone and left out have more difficulties performing their everyday responsibilities which leads to reduced mobility and health decline. It was also proven that children at the age of 10 or 11 who’re close and have a healthy relationship with their mothers were able to build stronger friendships, were better accepted by their peers, didn’t feel lonely and participated more in social engagements. They were also more outgoing and communicative, and less critical conversationally, when compared to the kids who weren’t as close with their mothers.
Further research demonstrated that the negative experience children had in their parental relationships leads to stress and irritation that lingers until adulthood.
Moreover, it was shown that the relationship between children and their grandparents is equally important and needs to be addressed as such as well.
A few years back the journal Gerontologist published a study which was conducted by a team of researchers from Boston College, which reviewed the effects of a long-term relationship between adult children and their grandparents. The study involved a set of 374 grandparents and adult grandchildren and lasted for 19 years, from 1985 to 2004. The results from the study revealed that a strong and tight relationship between these two had reduced the risk of depression in both sets of subjects.
Furthermore, it was discovered that the grandparents who got support without providing it had increased depression symptoms. The researchers were led to conclude that grandparent had greater pleasure in giving support than receiving because they enjoy feeling engaged and involved in their grandchildren’s lives.
During the study’s duration a great number of grandparents who were involved in their grandchildren’s lives experienced less depression symptoms.
One of the study’s researchers, Sara M. Moorman, a sociology associate professor at Boston College says that getting grandparents more involved in the lives of their grandchildren is an excellent way to reduce depression symptoms in both the grandparents and the grandchildren. The bigger the support that’s given and received the better the emotional health.
Shalhevet Attar-Schwartz, a researcher from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem points out that parents play a key role in the grandparent- grandchild relationship.
If you’re a parent, you need to understand that a grandparent plays a vital role in your children’s lives and you should try and bring the two closer together. It will bring joy, happiness and well-being for the entire family.
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