Help Me Grow | United Way of Utah County

The Importance of Grandparents

Growing up, I was fortunate to have my grandparents in my life. My relationship with each of them was as different as each of their personalities, from the grandpa who lived out of state but was a “snowbird” and traveled through Utah each fall and spring and treating us to dinner at a local buffet to the grandma who passed on her love of Welch’s grape juice and the color purple to me. With Grandparent’s Day just around the corner on September 12, 2021, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at why grandparents are so important to our child’s life.

  • Grandparents provide unconditional love. Like parents, grandparents love unconditionally, which helps a child feel safe and secure. The benefits go both ways; relationships such as these can help grandparents have happier and longer lives.
  • Grandparents help teach family culture, tradition and history. My father-in-law is known for telling stories from his youth, in fact he has told them so many times that the grandchildren know them by heart. When grandparents share stories, it does more than just entertain your child, it helps connect her to her family.
  • Many grandparents help with child care in some way. Many (but not all) grandparents are retired and have a flexible schedule that allows them to help with things like picking up and dropping off at school, child care after school or full-time child care. In fact, ZERO TO THREE and its partners conducted a survey that showed 1 out of 4 children under the age of five are under the care of a grandparent.
  • A study by Oxford University showed that when grandparents are involved in their grandchildren’s lives those children had an increase in their well-being and fewer emotional and behavioral problems.
  • Grandparents have more time and can give undivided attention at times when parents aren’t able to. This can help create a bond between grandparents and their grandchildren, give tired and busy parents a chance to rest and even reduce household stress.
  • Grandparents teach values. According to Ken Canfield, PhD in his article, “Grandparents are Natural Transmitters of Values”, children learn values such as “perseverance, loyalty, hard work, patience, sacrifice, and on and on” from their interactions with their grandparents.

There’s no doubt about it, grandparents are valuable in the lives of their grandchildren and are part of the village we as parents need as we raise our children. Take some time on Sunday, September 12th to celebrate the grandparents in your life and let them know how much you appreciate them.


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