In case you thought that grandparenting was about posing for photos with adorable toddlers, that is just the beginning. The really good news is that, if you live long enough, and stay reasonably close, those young charmers can grow up to be an actual help to you, and vice versa.
A new study from Boston College shows that having a close relationship with our adult grandkids can have a measurable effect — “fewer symptoms of depression for both generations,” according to Assistant Professor of Sociology Sara Moorman.
The grandparents who benefit most are those who are able to both give and receive help. The grandparents who fared worst only received help. That might be because they were in the worst shape, but we all know people who are ailing or are down and out, but are still able to give — advice, companionship; maybe just act as a touchstone for values or ideals (What would Grandma say?)
For the young adults, the rewards can be considerable — love, advice, a sense of continuity; a confirmation of their place in the world.
And let’s not forget, on both sides, fun and adventure. Each generation gets a guided tour to an exotic world.