9 Truly Awesome Health Benefits That Come With Having Grandchildren

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Senior Editor of Branded Content at Wild Sky Media. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Woman's World. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law & Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

Having children is one of the most life-changing experiences you can ever experience — but many grandparents would argue that having grandchildren is even better.

Why? Well, as a grandparent, you get to be there for all of the good parts and avoid the annoying parts.

You get to buy them candy and make them hyper, then drop them off with their parents and avoid the sugar crash. You can cuddle them and love them, but leave before their diaper gets dirty. You can give in to all their whims without having to deal with the consequences later.

Obviously, this is a bit of an exaggeration. Many grandparents are very hands-on with their grandkids, and that can actually be hugely beneficial to their health!

From increased longevity to lower risk of depression, grandchildren can enhance the lives of everyone around them.

Read below to find out some of the amazing health benefits of having grandchildren.

Photos: Max Pixel; Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Benefit #1: Having Grandchildren Boosts Cognitive Performance

boosts cognitive performance
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Although grandkids (especially the young ones) can be mentally exhausting, spending time with them can actually boost your cognitive performance.

According to a study at the US National Library of Medicine, postmenopausal women who spend a day a week taking care of their grandchildren have the highest cognitive performance among their peers.

If you spend too much time with your grandchildren, though, it can lower your memory performance and processing speed.

Benefit #2: Having Grandchildren Lowers Alzheimer's Risk

lower alzheimer's risk
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Spending time with your grandchildren won’t only keep you mentally sharp, it can also lower your risk of Alzheimer’s.

Women who babysit their grandkids have a lower risk of the disease than other people, according to a report from CBS News.

Benefit #3: Having Grandchildren Lowers Depression Risk

lower depression risk
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Many grandparents recognize that spending time with their grandkids makes them feel happy, but it can actually have a more serious effect.

A good relationship between grandparents and their young adult grandchildren can benefit the psychological health of both the grandparent and the grandkid. The closer the bond, the stronger the anti-depressive benefits, CBS News explains.

Benefit #4: Having Grandchildren Boosts Energy

boosts energy
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Although grandkids can absolutely tire you out, the time you spend with your grandchildren can make you become more active.

Kids have so much energy that it can be infectious — but that doesn’t mean you won’t be exhausted as soon as they go to bed!

Benefit #5: Having Grandchildren Increases Knowledge

increased knowledge
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

A close relationship between grandchildren and grandparents can lead to increased knowledge on both sides.

Grandparents, of course, can teach their children a number of life lessons. They can also pass down cultural history.

On the other side of things, grandparents can also learn a lot from their grandchildren. Kids can keep their grandparents up to date on the latest trends and technology.

Benefit #6: Having Grandchildren Boosts Social Life

boosts social life
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Many elderly people find themselves feeling lonely, but having grandchildren can keep you feeling socially fulfilled.

According to another study at the US National Library of Medicine, being a grandparent “promotes a socially active lifestyle that may be beneficial to cognitive aging.”

Benefit #7: Having Grandchildren Strengthens The Immune System

strong immune system
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Let’s be real: children are germ-magnets. But this can actually be a good thing!

According to Dr. Kristine Arthur, who spoke to Reader’s Digest, spending time with grandchildren can boost your immune system.

“When people are exposed to more touch, they often have a decrease in inflammatory cells and an increase in white blood cells, the fighter cells,” she explained.

Benefit #8: Having Grandchildren Increases Longevity

increased longevity
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Grandparents love to say things like, “You kids are killing me,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Having grandchildren can actually make you live longer! A study reported in The Sydney Morning Herald found that grandparents who regularly cared for their grandkids lived longer than grandparents who didn’t spend time with their kids’ children.

Benefit #9: Having Grandchildren Reduces Stress

reduced stress
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If you’re fully raising a grandchild, it can increase stress, but if you only spend some time with your grandchildren, it can lower your stress levels.

When you spend time with children, you usually end up smiling and laughing a lot. These activities are incredible forms of stress relief, explains the Mayo Clinic.

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