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.

More
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Netflix

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture