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  • Letting Lolo and Lola Babysit Can Help Them Live Longer (Science Says So!)

    It is just one of the benefits of letting your little one spend time with her grandparents.
    by Kate Borbon .
Letting Lolo and Lola Babysit Can Help Them Live Longer (Science Says So!)
PHOTO BY Pexels
  • Grandparents are essential to every family. They can be the glue that keeps families together, and they are a source of irreplaceable wisdom, not only for their adult children but perhaps even more so for their grandkids. And grandparents' unconditional love for their grandchildren makes them the ideal caregivers because there is no question about trust. The good news is the setup benefits both of them.

    Caring for apos can help Lolo and Lola live longer

    A study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior found that “grandparents who babysat their grandkids lived five years longer on average than those who did not.” According to the study, grandparents who provided care for their grandchildren had “lower risks of death over a 20-year-period” compared to adults who did not.

    Additionally, the study concluded that those added years of life also occurred in adults who cared for children they were not related to, and in adults who did not have their children but who provided childcare.

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    Previous research has also found other health benefits that Lolos and Lolas can get from looking after their grandkids. For one, a 2014 study founded that grandmothers who cared for their grandchildren at least once a week were at a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of cognitive disorders.

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    Spending time with Lolo and Lola is good for kids, too

    Kids can also benefit from spending time with their grandparents. First, being with their Lolos and Lolas can allow them to learn about their family’s history. Many grandparents enjoy sharing stories of the good old days to younger members of their brood, and it helps build a child’s intergenerational identity, so that she feels more in control of her own life and more aware of how she fits in that piece of history.

    Finally, a 2014 study from Boston College also found that kids who regularly spend time with their grandparents are less likely to experience depression when they become adults. They can also learn valuable lessons from the experiences of their grandparents, proving even more that a tight-knit relationship between grandparent and grandchild has long-term benefits.

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    What to do before letting Lolo and Lola babysit

    If you’re planning on tapping your parents or in-laws to care for your child soon, here are some important things to do first, including laying down several ground rules, keeping them in the know about any important needs your child may have, and coming up with a way to compensate them accordingly.

    Ask grandparents first

    As Parents puts it, don’t immediately assume that your parents or in-laws are willing to look after your child, as much as they love their apo. It is possible that they don’t feel physically able to care for a child, or that they have other commitments to attend to. Before dropping your child off at their house, make sure first to ask them whether they are ready for the responsibility.

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    Set some ground rules

    Laying down ground rules is a simple way to inform the grandparents about how you want your child to be cared for. Those guidelines can be about your child’s nap schedule, any medicine she needs to take throughout the day, or other matters.

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    However, try only to make rules about issues that you consider most important or which relate to your child’s safety — for instance, how long she is allowed to watch TV, or what you do to discipline her. Giving too many rules can give Lolo and Lola the impression that you don’t trust them and their ability to look after your little one.

    Think about how to repay the grandparents

    They’re helping you care for your child, so it’s only fitting that you show them gratitude for their assistance. You may choose to give them a certain amount of money, or maybe take them out for a family day out or even a weekend getaway. They deserve to be acknowledged for their help!

    Keep lolo and lola informed

    It’s better to avoid tantrums or health complications before they come, so if there is anything your child needs to be given to keep those at bay, don’t forget to inform the grandparents accordingly. One example may be if your child tends to get cranky if she isn’t able to take a nap during a particular time of day or if she gets hungry.

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