The Importance of Extended Family - Especially Grandparents

August 31, 2016

Posted by Lisa Lomasney

Family is made up of the people who are there for you in difficult times and celebrate with you in moments of success and happiness.  For a child, his or her family includes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins – all of which can play crucial roles in their life.

September 11 is National Grandparents Day

The first Sunday after Labor Day is recognized annually as “National Grandparents Day” – and for good reason.  Amongst the extended family members that are a positive influence in your child’s development, grandparents may be the most important.  Today, there are 80 million American grandparents – more than a third of the adult population!

According to Dr. Karl Pillemer of Cornell University, “The relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is second in emotional importance only to the relationship between parent and child.”

According to an AGA survey, “72% of grandparents ‘think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.’”  More than half of grandparents see their grandchildren in person at least once a week, according to A Place for Mom.  This time leads to healthier, happier grandchildren.

A strong grandparent-grandchild bond includes the child feeling emotionally close to their grandparent, regular contact, and the child viewing the grandparent as a source of social support.  This relationship can lead to less depression in the mother as well as the child in adulthood (The Attached Family).

Roma Hanks, Ph.D., says “grandparenting is the most important family role of the new century.”  “There is a growing alliance of grandparents who will positively influence the lives of their grandchildren and the younger generations in their society.”

We honor the special relationship between grandparent and grandchild by hosting our September Family Involvement Activity, Grahams with Grandparents.

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