Parents spend so much time focusing on what they need to do for their children when they’re young. Often, parents tend to think they have done our job once the kids grow up. But parents can really come into their own when their kids have their own kids.
Having a grandparent help out with the grandkids is one of the most positive things a parent can do for their family.
At Twin Cities Kids Club, our goal is to help families in the Twin Cities, no matter what role you play in that family. Whether you are a mom, dad, step-parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or honorary family member, we want to support you. Join the club today for tips, advice, and discounts.
Grandparents Helping Grandchildren
Ask most grandparents what they can do to help their children and grandchildren, and “babysitting” is probably their answer. But there is way more you can do to be involved with your grandchildren. It doesn’t just have to be looking after them once in a blue moon when mom and dad go out.
Helping Out When You’re Most Needed
Logically, as grandparents, you were parents of young children too. You likely remember what it’s like to look after these dependent, helpless babies. Didn’t you long, occasionally, for a responsible, reliable adult to take over once in a while? Anything to give you a decent break!
Understanding that parents don’t always want, or can’t always afford, a babysitter, you are their best alternative. Unlike babysitters, who come and go, you are a familiar, friendly presence already. Your grandchildren know you, and their parents trust you.
What’s in it for Me?
You may think that if you take your grandkids off your children’s hands, you’re not doing them any favors. Everyone needs to learn how to cope, right? But studies have demonstrated that there are benefits to spending time with the younger members of your family you may not realize:
- It helps you to stay physically active. You are (often literally!) running around after younger legged people for a few hours. As long as you are physically capable of doing so, your grandkids can help keep you fit.
- Looking after little ones can help reduce your stress levels. Wait – what? Surely the opposite will happen! Not according to research, which found that grandparents who cared for their grandchildren actually reported a reduction in stress levels.
- Longer life expectancy. Between lower levels of stress, and higher levels of fitness, actively involving grandparents in the children’s lives improves their health. This, in turn, improves their lifespan, so Granny and Grandpa will be in it for the long haul.
- The study noted other benefits, like the lack of isolation, and their closer connection to their grandchildren.
As an added bonus, the grandchildren benefit also. The researchers found a significant drop in reported cases of depression in children who have a positive relationship with their grandparents.
What Can I offer My Grandkids?
- Alternative sets of parents. We can never take the job of parenting away from our kids. Parents are their children’s first educators, first entertainers, and first role models. But grandparents can be valuable understudies for these jobs (after all, it’s not like we haven’t done it before).
- Financial stability. It’s not always the case, but grandparents are more likely to be financially secure. You have probably paid off your mortgage and student loans, and have money saved. And of course, with no kids in the house, you have more disposable income!
- A change of scene. No matter how much grandchildren love their parents, they can still enjoy a little variety. Even if it’s just a trip to grandma’s house in the next town over, kids can see it as an adventure. Get them to do their own packing, or even traveling by themselves if they’re old enough.
Parents Need Downtime, too.
Remember when your kids were young, and all you wanted to do was to have a good night’s sleep, or eat dinner in peace? You may think that it’s karma that those same children now want exactly those things, but be honest. You’d have loved it if your parents had given you the night off, so why not give your kid a break?
Ways to Spend time with your Grandkids
Now that mom and dad have let you look after their little darling for the day, what are your plans? You need to be able to entertain your grandkids, without getting too drained yourself. So ideally, go somewhere you can both enjoy, but which will keep them active, and you rested.
You may not fancy trampolining, but it’s a great and safe way for your active grandchildren to burn off some energy. If you prefer a quieter day, take them to the movies. And if you’re looking for something you can both enjoy, there’s train rides, a zoo, and even karaoke for the really brave!
Do something positive for your family today
Make some special memories with your grandchildren by giving them an adventurous day out. And at the same time, give their parents some much-needed free time. Our own parents might not have given us that much-needed time off, but that’s no reason not to “pay it forward.”
Join Twin Cities Kids Club Today
Twin Cities Kids Club has a rotating calendar of activities, with something different and special on most weekdays and every weekend. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, summer or winter. There’s enough variety to keep even the most demanding of toddlers happy!
Depending on the size of your family and the age of the children, there are discounts available to suit all budgets. Check out the newsletters for special deals and events. Better still, join the club and check out the free events on offer for members.