+
More

How spending time with grandkids can help grandparents stay healthy, happy, and sharp.

There's now scientific evidence that suggests kids spending time with their grandparents is good for their health.

After waking up to rooster crows and being treated to pancakes made from scratch, my grandmother would help me get dressed for our mini-adventures around town.  

Some of my fondest memories are of that time spent out and about with my grandmother in Nogales, Mexico. Little did I know at the time, there were great health benefits to our time spent together, too.

Listen up, parents! Now there's scientific evidence suggesting quality time with the grandkids has incredible health benefits for both grandma and grandpa.

Photo by Norman Smith/Fox Photos/Getty Images.


For the first time ever, researchers looked at how grandparenting has an effect on cognition. The study — conducted by The Women's Healthy Aging Project in Australia  — observed 186 grandmothers who took care of their grandkids. The results were both surprising and awesome.

The study found that grandmothers who spent one day a week looking after their grandkids were more likely to offset dementia and had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's. Apparently, keeping up with the kiddos and answering their sometimes endless questions helps keep their memory sharp by increasing their brain function. Way to go, kids!

The study also found that a healthy grandparent-grandkid relationship helps prevent social isolation, which can lead to depression and sometimes even an earlier death. So by spending more time with grandma or grandpa, you're actually helping to keep them sharp, healthy, happy, and maybe even extending their life.

Photo by J. Duckworth/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

There's also good news for grandkids.

Initial data from the Institute on Aging at Boston College show that a strong grandchild-grandparent bond can offset depressive tendencies for both parties.

The study, which observed 376 grandparents and 340 kids over a span of 19 years (from 1985 to 2004), found that the closer the grandparent-child relationship was, the less likely either was to experience depression. If that's not a major incentive to spend more quality time with Gramps, I don't know what is.

There is one drawback cited in this most recent study that could prove to be convenient when grandma doesn't want to commit to long-term babysitting.

While it's beneficial for grandparents to care for their grandkids one day a week, it's not beneficial to their health to watch them for five days or more per week.Researchers found hanging out with the rug rats too much may affect their grandparent's memory and their ability to process information faster, leading to lower cognition.  

While most of us adore our grandparents, it's important we know how our interactions affect their health. While we may feel like we have all the energy in the world, they may not. We should be informed about how much time with the kids is OK and when it's best to relieve them of their grandparenting duties.

Photo by Val Rodriguez/AFP/Getty Images.

Fostering a fulfilling relationship between kids and their grandparents is a beautiful thing. Who better to teach kids about themselves and their family history? This relationship is crucial.

This study offers a win-win situation for parents who want their kids to build lasting, meaningful relationships with their grandparents. Hey, it could also be a great excuse for finally having that date night!

So parents, feel free to ask grandma and grandpa to watch the kids — and to feel good about it — because you're also helping to keep them sharp and healthy. But remember that, like in most things in life, everything is best in moderation.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less

RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

Keep ReadingShow less

She's enjoying the big benefits of some simple life hacks.

James Clear’s landmark book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide. The book is incredibly popular because it has a simple message that can help everyone. We can develop habits that increase our productivity and success by making small changes to our daily routines.

"It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis,” James Clear writes. “It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”

His work proves that we don’t need to move mountains to improve ourselves, just get 1% better every day.

Most of us are reluctant to change because breaking old habits and starting new ones can be hard. However, there are a lot of incredibly easy habits we can develop that can add up to monumental changes.

Keep ReadingShow less