Raising grandchildren not bad for your health!

Filed under: Big Kids, Relatives, Health & Safety: Babies

Common wisdom has it that when grandparents are caregivers for their children's children, they pay a price with their health.The physical demands and stress of child-rearing combined with an aging body would logically result in poorer health, right? Not so, according to a new study of nearly 13,000 grandparents between the ages of 50 and 80.

Researchers at University of Chicago and three other universities found that caring for grandchildren does not have "dramatic and widespread negative impacts on the grandparent's health." "These findings suggest that health declines are not an inevitable consequence of grandchild care," the authors wrote. Declining health due to caring for grandchildren is actually the exception.

Among the surprising results of this study was the discovery that grandmothers caring for grandchildren in the absence of the children's parents did suffer an initial health decline. But over time, if the arrangement didn't change, their health improved.

See? Grandkids are good for you! I know that at 41 years old I am probably outside the average age of a grandparent raising a grandchild. But I am much older than I was when raising my own daughter and I can tell a difference. However, being with Ellie requires me to be more physically active than I might otherwise be and that helps keep me healthy and strong. Plus, all that laughter is good for soul.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.