I think we have all heard at one time or another that babysitting your grandchildren will help you live longer, but did you know that theory is based on an actual study? I’m no scientist so I won’t speak on the study, you will have to google that yourself, but I WILL give you 3 reasons why you should do it anyway along with some books to help guide you through the process and benefits
1. They keep you active
The most well-behaved of children have unlimited energy and will-power. These tiny, stubborn, precious little monsters will run amuck at a moment’s notice and will have you scrambling to keep up, LITERALLY. If you decide to babysit, you may have already forgotten the woes the early stages of child development can bring: The year-like hours, the potty accidents due to holding it too long, the crying because the fake puppet on the tv looked mad at them, and let’s not forget the magician-like ability to disappear in the blink of an eye. The Grandmother in “I Really Want To See You, Grandma!” can vouch for the time and energy it might take to try to spend ONE DAY with your grandchild, let alone a weekend. Don’t think you’re alone in this just because of this ever-changing world and new “norms”.
2. They keep your mind alert
Your grandchildren might be your caretakers someday, whether it is by circumstance or by choice. Not only would it benefit you to give your relationship a little T.L.C when they are younger, it ultimately gives the child another safe space to go to which has been shown to bolster their confidence when dealing with their peers. Heaven forbid you are one of the many human beings to get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s’, dementia, or even a stroke, your grandchild might be the only one to step up and take on an active role in keeping you moving about and lucid such as in My Little Grandmother often Forgets, Now One Foot, Now The Other, and My Grandma's Photos.
3. You stay up-to-date on the current events of the youth and that includes the newer dangers they run into online and how you can talk to them about it
With technology rapidly becoming a common household feature, there are people out there looking to best scam or groom or hurt your grandkids using the internet. Not only will babysitting help you understand where they are digitally, it will help you find ways to best learn to keep them safe as they navigate the web. This is especially if you bring them to the library, as we always have many resources to occupy and distract the little ones while you check out the latest in tech safety like Digital good: raising kids to thrive in an online world and Super social media and awesome online safety. Helping your grandchild to succeed in school (and using the internet) can be instrumental in their future as shown in The dumbest generation grows up: from stupefied youth to dangerous adults.
Using these 3 reasons put together, you can see how active you’ll end up being any day you might spend with your child’s little one. Results may vary depending on the age and size of the child, as you’ll get more running in with a 3-year-old toddler than with a thirteen-year-old tiny adult. Either way, they are going to keep you on your feet!