According to research conducted by the Berlin Aging Study, grandparents who babysit have a 37 percent lower mortality risk than adults of the same age who don’t take on those duties.
For the study, the researchers tracked the overall health of more than 500 people over 70 years and the evolution of their health according to the time spent with children.
The study found that participants who babysat received life-extending benefits, even if the kids they were watching weren’t their own grandchildren.
Besides giving us a break when we are exhausted from our parenting duties, being with younger kids helps older adults be more active, social and promotes healthy brain activity. So, break out the endless rounds of Go Fish and trips to the playground!
Additionally, the extra time with grandparents is great for your child’s development as well because it gives them extra stability and emotional support. In addition, you know that grandfather will give you an extra chocolate cake just before you go to bed, and that is good for any child when grandparents are in charge.
Researchers otherwise noted that this study doesn’t mean we should just drop our kids off with grandma and then squeal wheels out of there.
While extra time and games with your kids are beneficial for grandparents, exaggerating the health of grandmother and grandfather can be detrimental. So set limits and make sure your parents are letting you know when they need a break too.
Now that you have science on your side, make dinner reservations and pack the kids’ overnight bag. It’s off to grandmother’s house they go!