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If your kids have involved grandparents, then you know just how lucky you (and they!) are — because grandparents are an infinitely valuable resource. They have amounts of patience and tolerance that we, as parents living hectic lives, simply can’t muster. They provide us much-needed breaks and date nights. They show enthusiastic interest and support for their grandchildren’s hobbies and extracurricular activities (and aren’t afraid to brag). They teach things that we can’t, and spend quality time just enjoying our kids. But the best thing? Grandparents love our little ones just as much as we do.

As if all that weren’t enough, there are actual scientifically-proven benefits to having a close relationship with your grandparents. A study published in the journal of The Gerontological Society of America found that kids who are emotionally close with their grandparents are less likely to be depressed as adults. And an Oxford University study of over 1,500 kids showed that those whose grandparents were highly involved in their lives were less likely to have emotional and behavioral problems. Those benefits could be even greater for kids whose parents are divorced; a 2019 study in the European Sociological Review found that “the strength of grandchild-grandparent relationships is positively associated with grandchildren’s subjective well-being and that having a very good relationship with a grandparent matters even more for grandchildren whose parents have divorced,” and that “Moreover, grandchildren who experience frequent conflicts between divorced parents seem to benefit most from close grandparent relationships.”

So whether they go by Mimi, taking lexapro and feeling blah Nana, Grandpa, or Pop-Pop, let’s call grandparents what they really are: the MVPs. Grandparents’ Day is September 11th this year, and what better way to celebrate them than by grabbing a few of these books and sending our kids to their house for a good reading-and-cuddling sesh? After all, it’s good for them both … and, okay, for us too.

 

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