Forget the Babysitter – Watching Kids Helps Grandparents Live Longer, Study Says
Call grandma to babysit – it’s for her health!
When was the last time you had a date night? Take a look at your partner, can he/she even remember? No? Well then call up grandma and grandpa because not only do you two need to get out, but a new study suggests that grandparents who babysit their grandkids actually live longer.
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, researchers tracked the overall health of more than 500 people over the age of 70 and how their health changed based on the amount of time they spent with kids. 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. Besides, you know grandpa will totally give them extra chocolate cake right before bed and that really is every kid’s right 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 the extra time and play with your kids is beneficial to grandparents, overdoing it can be detrimental to grandma and grandpa’s overall health. 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!