Shani Dion-Thibaudeau

By Shani Dion-Thibaudeau

September 9, 2016

Health

Grandparents: Essential to a Good Work-Life Balance

Article revised on 5 March 2018

“Young” grand-parents are more and more common these days, and they are healthier than their parents before them. On top of this, they may have just retired, enabling them to spend more time with their grandchildren and develop closer relationships with them.

A precious support network

According to the study entitled lEnquête québécoise sur l’expérience des parents d’enfants de 0 à 5 ans 2015, 63% of parents of young children believe that if need be, they can turn to one spouse’s parents for support, while 55% feel they can rely on both sets of parents.

In all cases, it appears that the grandparents’ presence allows parents to catch their breath, to relax a little and be more patient with their children.

According to the same study, parents who can count on the support of friends and family tend to:

  • Adopt more suitable parenting skills
  • Feel more efficient
  • Have a better relationship with their children

In other words, parents who have help from their entourage are happier.

Lending a helping hand

New grandparents are very active and usually have a packed schedule, however they’re not limited by the demands of work like parents are.

Being there for a sick child, accompanying a grandchild on a school trip or extra-curricular activity, watching the kids while the parents are busy, helping the parents with household chores…The grandparents’ contributions lowers pressure and stress levels while providing the children with the TLC they crave.

By taking over some of these duties, they help keep the couple more balanced, giving them time to go out for dinner or a play and rediscover the intimacy they so often have to set aside.

Matters of education

Grandparents often contribute when it comes to education. They bring a new dimension to the little ones’ learning process. Thanks to free time they have, they can plan activities that are both fun and educational.

However, even though parents need a little break sometimes, grandparents must understand the limits of parental territory.

A source of stability

While the number of separations and divorces keeps rising, grandparents can provide some stability. They can make children feel like they belong to a family, have a history. They act as roots, and the family home, if they still own it, is filled with memories, photos and a rich history.

Unconditional love

Aside from the help and support they bring to the family, grandparents love their grandchildren. Totally. Unconditionally. With hugs and words of encouragement, they help develop the kids’ self-confidence by showing them they can be loved for who they are by people other than their parents.

Not to mention that when the children are with their grandparents, the rules tend to be a little more flexible than they are with the parents. Oh, yes! Grandparents get to spoil their grandchildren without having to impose limits or being strict disciplinarians. It’s really the best of both worlds!

The Viva Workplace health and wellness program is a turnkey program that’s specially designed to meet employers’ needs with regard to health and wellness promotion and prevention.

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