Do you want your parents to live a good old age? Give them frequent babysitting. Grandparents who spend a lot of time with their grandchildren live longer. And in much better mental and physical condition than their peers, who don’t care about their grandchildren. How is that possible?
Have you heard of the Berlin study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior? In the last two decades, surprising results have literally traveled the world. The study’s authors came to the clear conclusion that seniors, who often (or occasionally) care for their grandchildren, live an average of up to twenty years longer than those who don’t usually do so.
VIDEO: Roman Vojtek with his family for Maminka magazine
Less stress, more movement
The aging study was conducted on 516 people aged 70 to 100 who were living in Berlin at the time. It took the form of personal interviews and written questionnaires. The researchers collected and analyzed information about the mental, physical, social and emotional well-being of the elderly. And one of the key conclusions? Grandparents, who at least occasionally devote time and attention to their grandchildren, live to a much older age! With kids, you get younger, that’s how it is. Therefore, “guard dog” grandparents have the unique advantage that, surrounded by anxious and curious grandchildren, they delay the signs of aging. They just don’t have time to age.
They think of me like a crazy grandma
“I have three grandchildren, five-year-old twins from my daughter and a seven-year-old bastard from my son. I love them, we travel, we build bunkers in the park, we bake burritos, we pick mushrooms, we bake cakes, we always make programs that everyone likes. I really push myself sometimes when kids send them to me again, at least for a few days. I always live with little kids, I feel younger, more agile, they don’t leaving me alone even for a moment, I continued to chase them, but it was a pleasant stretch of the body. Even the mind, because they are at the age when they ask everything around, want to tell tales and stories. I love to have them with me, even if they’re a hurricane. And I’m flattered that they think I’m a ‘crazy’ grandma,” said Milada with a smile (64).
Don’t abuse or force
Thus, it turns out that grandchildren are a significant benefit for a happier and better “fall of life”. Relationships aren’t just about fun, they’re also beneficial for overall health. Children keep their grandparents in good mental and physical condition, make them happier, they feel needed and useful, they move and they constantly train their brain, perception, memory and attention, they engage their imagination, they are more relaxed , they drive much easier negative thoughts and they think more positively.
Don’t expect them to be available all the time
In short, in the company of children (and by spending quality time together), seniors don’t withdraw from social contact and stay physically active, so they feel better about everything. But be careful, this is not a guide for moms and dads who are tired of working from morning till night to harass their aging parents for day-to-day babysitting or forcing them to give their grandchildren all their time. No one should expect grandma or grandpa to be available all the time and on command. It’s certainly not their job to take care of them full time and take on the role of real parents! It’s all too bad, scientists warn!
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