According to science, grandparents who babysit grandkids live longer

According to science, grandparents who babysit grandkids live longer

How often do your parents babysit your kids? Letting grandparents babysit grandkids will help them live longer!

Do you remember when you first got married and your parents were pestering you to have a child? Well, it turns out their request for a grandchild comes with more benefits than you know. But it is not enough for you to just give your parents grandchildren for the benefits to kick in – scientists have discovered that if grandparents babysit grandkids, they will live longer!

So the next time you want to go on date night with your partner or take a weekend trip away, remind your parents that when grandparents babysit grandkids, they tend to live longer!

Grandparents babysit grandkids to live longer
raising a child without grandparents, grandparents babysit grandkids

Source: Shutterstock | Grandparents babysit grandkids live longer.

Now, why is it that when grandparents babysit grandkids they live longer? This study shows that  grandparents who are responsible for caring for grandchildren have a 37% lower mortality risk than adults of the same age without the same caregiving responsibilities.

Researchers tracked health outcomes from more than 500 people age 70 and up who took part in the study. The participants were interviewed and tested every 2 years from 1990 to 2009.

What they found was fascinating. Around 50% of those who had grandchildren and were active in their caregiving were still alive 10 years after the first interview and testing. 50% of those who did not provide any care or help or had no grandchildren, died within 5 years.

Why do grandparents who babysit grandkids live longer?
grandparents babysit grandkids

Source: Shutterstock | Grandparents babysit grandkids live longer than their counterparts who don’t nurture their grandchildren or who don’t have grandkids.

“This research shows the positive link between caregiving and a longer lifespan in older people however we can only speculate as to why,” said Dr. David Coall, one of the scientists who conducted the study.

“The possible reason could be deeply rooted in our past. In the past “help with childcare was crucial for the survival of the human species.”

To date, grandchildren who have grandparents in their lives also benefit greatly. Research by the University of Oxford shows that kids with a high level of grandparental involvement had fewer emotional and behavioural problems.

The only downside to having your parents care for your children is that they are at risk of being spoilt! But here are some pointers to talk to your parents about if you’re worried about that.

Grandparents babysit grandkids without spoiling them
1. Use the 80:20 rule

Parents can be sensitive when you impose a lot of rules on them. After all, they raised you and think they know best. So how do you approach your parents without offending them?

A rule most Management Gurus swear by is the 80:20 rule. In this context, of all the rules you want your child to follow, only 20% of the rules are 80% important. The remaining 80% of them are expendable.

So, if you have 10 rules, only two of them are really, really important. And these are the rules where you need to put your foot down if a grandparent breaks them. 

2. Team up with your partner

You have to communicate with the grandparents like you communicate with your child — confidently. Otherwise, you may not be taken seriously. And, nothing casts a doubt on the confidence as a couple who does not agree on an issue.

3. Create a wish list

There are “needs” and there are “wants.” Today, most of the things people buy are to satisfy the wants instead of the needs. Set a proper wish list and request that your parents follow the list. 

Read also: 4 Surprising health benefits of being a grandparent

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Written by

Sarah Voon

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