According to Google, a Grand family is a type of arrangement in which a family is headed by grandparents. These senior adults share their homes and lives with their children, grandchildren or other family members such as nieces and nephews.
When examining resilience factors in children one of the most important; dare I say, ‘the most important’ influence, is the support of concerned adults. Many adults and various roles come to mind, but I want to focus on the relationship with a Grand family as one with far-reaching implications. This care from grandparents makes a difference in the life of a child, especially for a stressed child.
I believe people who impact us most are present and available during times of great challenge. Their positive effect blesses us not only during adversity, but the after-effects are long-lasting. These special people give us strength and courage; especially during difficult times. They help weave a powerful thread into the fabric of our lives. It helps make us strong and resilient.
Strong relationships with grandparents can affect the healthy development of the children in their care. Their influence spreads across the lives of their grandchildren in several ways. The benefits of involved grandparents are worth noting. I’d like to point out a few.
Grandfamilies offer the love many children want and need.
They seem to have a knack for saying just the right word at the right time; or doing the right action at the right moment. The love and support they offer are invaluable.
Engaged grandparents can improve social and academic functioning.
Involvement in academic functions, extra-curricular activities, and social occasions help hold a child accountable and to a set of standards that surpasses others.
They may be a significant model of a healthy, stable relationship.
Children who experience the consistency and longevity of a positive emotional connection benefit immensely. The example they receive shapes their future relationships as well.
Grandfamilies extend a sense of safety which may be hard to replicate.
They add to the strength and structure of the lives of children in their care. The comfort and certainty they can provide eases an anxious child. It insulates a distressed child from the uncertainty of the world.
Grandparents provide a sense of connection through shared history.
What better way to share ancestral history than by sharing family stories? Grandparents enjoy telling stories from their past and even share memories of their own parents. A sense of history grounds a child into his sense of self and helps him or her find their ‘place’ in the family.
Grandparents make good companions.
They seem to have a little extra time to share and little extra attention to lavish. Grandparents enjoy doing activities: be it reading, cooking, throwing a ball, or creating a project together; everything seems a little more fun with a grandparent’s involvement.
Studies show the developing brain is susceptible to the effects of stress and adversity. The good news is brain architecture can be altered by the love and kindness of others. Three cheers for the grandparents who are involved with their grandchildren. The love and kindness of grandparents make a difference.