A study conducted by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland noted that grandparents who are supportive can largely influence parents to have more children and take better care of them.
The study was based on several surveys conducted across eight European countries including France, Norway, Bulgaria, Lithuania, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Dr. Antti O Tanskanen, lead author of the study, revealed that grandparents’ help with childcare and emotional support are linked to mothers’ willingness to have a second or a third child. Additionally, the researchers also found that parents with small children are more likely to have more children of they get support from paternal grandparents. A strong association between the involvement of maternal grandparents in the lives of their grandchildren and fewer emotional and behavioral problems was also observed by the study authors.
A strong association between the involvement of maternal grandparents in the lives of their grandchildren and fewer emotional and behavioral problems was also observed by the study authors.
However, there can be some negative consequences of grandparents being their grandchildren’s primary minder when they are younger. The researchers found that kids who have their grandmother as their primary minder between the age of nine months and three years are more likely to be overweight at the age of three than children whose primary minder is their own parent.
The study reconfirms that, just like in ancient days, grandparents continue to be an integral part of the family in many European households. The researchers noted that the findings of their study emphasize on the importance of including grandparents and other elderlyfamily members in all family policies.