• Time With the Grandparents Is One of the Best Gifts for Your Little One

    Bonding time makes your child AND his lolo and lola happier and live longer.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Time With the Grandparents Is One of the Best Gifts for Your Little One
PHOTO BY iStock
  • New parents count themselves lucky when they can rely on our mothers and fathers to step in if ever they need help with the kids — that's a Filipino family for you. In fact, most lolos and lolas will jump at the chance to babysit because it means they can bond with their apo.

    Of course, you’d best be prepared for your parenting styles to clash, especially when both of you are set in your respective child-rearing ways. But coming up with a compromise is best because science indicates that kids who spend time with their grandparents are reaping a LOT of benefits — and it's making lolos and lolas healthier, too.

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    Grandparents help raise happy adults

    According to a 2014 study published in the journal Gerontologist, which studied the relationship between 374 grandparents and 356 grandchildren over the course of 19 years, adults who had strong, emotional ties with their grandparents as kids were less likely to be depressed as they grow older.

    Part of the reason may be because grandparents have a tendency of "spoiling" their apos. Why? They love them, of course, and they don't have the pressure of raising a child anymore — they're already done raising you! Instead, they can afford to pamper and give their grandchildren their undivided attention.

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    Grandparents teach kids valuable life lessons

    Our mothers and fathers didn’t grow up with Google or YouTube, and they certainly didn’t have to worry about getting too much screen time. Not growing up in a digital age, however, makes them great teachers for your child when it comes to social interaction, etiquette and manners, and respect (never underestimate the power of the gesture of pagmamano!)

    Kids who grow up with gadgets can have a hard time socializing with their peers. When lola is with baby, it can be the perfect time to remove screens from the picture and have our kids ask their grandparents questions about the past — “How did you stay in touch with friends if you didn’t have Facebook messenger or Viber?” or “What games did you play if you don’t have cellphones?” We’re sure lolo and lola will have a grand time telling them about handwritten letters sent via the post office and playing traditional Filipino games like piko and taguan outdoors!

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    Providing grandparents ample time to bond with their grandchildren also results in better quality of life for the elders, which you can add to your reasons to feel less guilty if you need a break from parenting duties.

    Grandparents live longer thanks to their apos

    Babysitting your kids benefit lolo and lola more than they realize. According to a recent study, doing so can actually extend their lifespan. The study, which looked at 500 adults aged 70 and above, found that grandparents who babysat regularly had a 37 percent lower mortality risk than adults who did not.

    Researchers say this might be because providing care reduces stress (and we know the relationship between stress and a higher risk of dying), plus taking care of the kids help keep grandparents mentally active and provide them with a purpose to live.

    Similarly, another study published in the journal Menopause in 2014, found that spending time with their apos can help keep grandmothers mentally sharp and lower risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders.

    Parenting is tough, so you shouldn't beat yourself up for wanting to take a break every now and then. And if lolo and lola are more than willing to take over, then that's a win-win situation!

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