One of the hardest parts of moving to a different country, away from our hometown, has been to be away from our parents. So when we had the opportunity to coordinate a trip with both of them, to a destination they all wanted to visit, we had to take advantage!
It is refreshing to have extra hands helping out with the kids, and they are truly the only other humans as invested in your children as you are (if not more). After traveling quite a bit, just my husband and I managing the kids, it was a breath of fresh air having extra people helping with the stroller or to hold the kiddies. They can also watch the kids while you take a little break. As I watched our parents love on our children, I remembered the studies that I have read about psychological benefits of time spent with grandparents on kids.
Benefits of Time Spent with Grandparents:
Studies show that spending regular time with grandparents has links with:
- Fewer emotional/behavioral problems
- Higher scores on emotional intelligence assessments
- Increased empathy and compassion in social settings
- Higher engagement in school
- Feelings of affirmation that they are heard and seen
- Decrease in symptoms of depression
- Deeper connection with family history and culture
- Increase in oxytocin (love hormone) with cuddles
For the full article on these benefits, visit: https://www.homeaidehomecare.com/2020/01/the-benefits-of-spending-time-with-grandparents/ .
Because of COVID and life’s circumstances, we don’t get to see our kids grandparents as often as we like. So in addition to trying to coordinate trips and regular FaceTimes, I have another idea on how to keep my children connected to our parents (and their parents).
I set up an email address for each of my kids, and have asked our parents to send them emails with anecdotes, childhood memories, or random thoughts. I will give the kids the passwords when they are older, and hope this will connect them to their grandparents further. My 91-year-old grandfather emails the kids as well. I imagine how surreal it will be for my babies to open their inbox in 10 years and see his emails! For my grandparents, who have passed, I try to email old pictures of them or write my memories or stories of them to my kids. I truly value the connection we have with our parents and grandparents – we wouldn’t be who we are without them, and I would love my children to know who they come from.