Grandparents form a big part of our childhood memories, at least for most people. Studies have suggested that having your grandparents live with you or close enough for frequent visits can boost your child’s development emotionally, mentally, and physically. However, it all comes down to whether or not your in-laws can withstand the close quarters without tearing down the house.
Living close to your grandparents is beneficial in more ways than one
Charlie and Avery, for example, are two parents from Ashburn, Virginia. Charlie’s parents have been present in his two children’s lives. They may not be a part of the household chores like cooking and cleaning or shopping errands, but they attend sports events or school functions. Additionally, his children go spend weekend nights with his parents frequently, so they get some alone time together. “I wouldn’t say my mom ‘helps’ in terms of cooking, laundry, or helping with homework, but they stay at her house a lot and she comes to a ton of their events,” Charlie said in an interview with Fatherly.
On the other hand, Avery’s parents live a little further away, and they are not nearly as present. Charlie admitted that Avery’s brother’s dogs get more attention from them because he lives closer. “They’re like absentee grandparents unless we make the effort to go to see them, whereas my mom gets all mad if we forget to tell her the most minor things, like that Sasha has a track meet,” he says. “Frankly, Avery’s brother’s dogs who live closer to her folks get more attention from them.”
Mutually beneficial to live near grandparents
There is a mutual benefit to be seen from grandparents who are actively involved in their grandkids’ upbringing. Here are some of the leading benefits parents like Charlie and Avery can look forward to.
1. Babysitting is free
Many parents cannot afford the cost of a babysitter from down the street. They don’t blame her for asking such high prices; she is worth it and saving for college. However, it does limit the amount of alone time partners get to spend together. If parents live with their in-laws, the grandparents can watch the kids for free. Parents can then enjoy one or two more date nights per week.
2. Grandparents have longer life expectancies
Being mentally, emotionally, and physically stimulated is a sure way to keep the years off. Statistically speaking, elderly people’s mental state tends to degrade if they are left alone. But, no doubt having kids around prevents any form of laziness, as you are constantly making sure they do not hurt themselves, or burn down the house. Additionally, children can keep you laughing which is also said to keep people from degrading early.
3. Children will develop further, develop social cues, and find their moral compass
Sometimes both parents are extremely busy. The modern world sees both parents working hard to make ends meet. But, this means their kids are left to daycares when they are at work and have many other kids to care for. If they lived with, or close to, their grandparents, they would get more exposure to the world around them. This could help them learn faster and understand their social cues better. Furthermore, they will get a better understanding of what is right or wrong.
4. Less ageism as the kids grow up
This is an interesting point because it is a prevalent problem today. Ageism is a big issue in society right now, and spending a lot of time with your grandparents is a great way to understand what it is like to live as an elderly person and some of the discrimination they may face. So, being exposed to your grandparents may help to prevent kids from growing up judging others for their age.
5. Grandparents give great advice and the ultimate hugs
Grandparents always seem to know what to say, and it is one of the most comforting things to hear at times. Children lead tough lives in the modern world. They are also exposed to a lot of stress and big decisions that could curb the rest of their life. This can be highly overwhelming for them, and if they lived with their grandparents, they might benefit from their words of wisdom, comfort, or just a beautiful embrace to ease their nerves.
6. Lower BMIs
According to a study published in 2019, children who did not live with their grandparents were more likely to get bored more often and lie around on their couch at home. But, those who lived with or close to their grandparents were more active. Therefore, the BMI levels are much lower in kids who had their grandparents around more.
- “What Living Near Grandma and Grandpa Does for a Family.” Fatherly. Virginia Pelley. March 25, 2019
- “Studies Show The Benefits Of Kids Living Close To Their Grandparents. Parenting Isn’t Easy. Morgan Slimak. 03.30.21
- “5 facts about American grandparents.” Pew Research. Jens Krogstad. September 13, 2015