Studies show children living near their grandparents benefits them more than we realise
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There is no questioning that grandparents are seen as a free childcare option for a lot of people, and who can blame them really with how expensive professional childcare is.
But while many have said that parents have taken advantage over the years, mum and dad now have an excuse for dumping their kids with their own parents.
That is because many studies over the years have revealed there are a lot more benefits than you may think when it comes to grandparents seeing their young grandchildren.
A 2007 study by Oxford university in collaboration with the Institute of Education, London, found that around 70 percent of maternal grandmothers provide regular or occasional child care for their grandchildren.
While it may sound a little cheeky, grandparents are certainly good babysitters - and ones that you can trust too, as they are a family relation.
Regular contact with their grandkids also brings huge benefits to grandparents.
Studies have found that grandparents that live near their grandchildren and see them/look after them on a regular basis have a higher life expectancy.
A study by the University of Basel in Switzerland interviewed 500 grandparents between 1990 and 1993.
Lead author Dr Sonja Hildbrand found that half of grandparents who cared for their grandchildren lived for about ten years after the first interview, while half of the grandparents who did not provide care died within five years.
She said: "I think pro-social behavior is more important than ever. It’s already known that being socially engaged and having contact with others might have positive effects on health, and our study suggests this has an impact on longevity."
Another perhaps surprising benefit for grandchildren and grandparents to live close together is that symptoms of depression are generally reduced in both groups.
A 2014 study from the The Gerontologist showed that a longer relationship between grandparents and adult grandchildren, plus being closer in proximity, led to an overall happier life in both camps and reduced depressive symptoms.
Of course, caring for young children is never easy and a rather stressful experience, but the study found that overall grandparents are better off living near their grandchildren.
Finally, a study conducted in Belgium found that children who regularly see their grandparents show fewer signs of prejudice and discrimination against older people.
Researchers interviewed 1,151 kids aged between 7 and 16 and found that 10 to 12 year olds who saw their grandparents at least once a week had the most favourable views towards the elderly.
Co-author Stephane Adam noted: "Our findings point to the potential of grandparents to be part of intergenerational programs designed to prevent ageism."
So it's not just grandparents who benefit, as spending quality time with grandchildren can help eradicate ageist views from the next generation