Caring for grandchildren in your retirement?

Learn how it can have a positive impact on your life.

Your retirement years are an opportunity to spend quality time with your family. And, if you’re a grandparent, it’s especially nice if you can create meaningful, lasting relationships with your grandchildren. There are so many benefits to spending time with your grandkids; not only will you be able to share your wisdom and learning with them, teach them new life skills, and just have fun in their company. But there are health benefits, too. That’s right; being a grandparent can be a stress reliever, increase socialization, prompt physical activity, and even add years to your life. And also, spending time with your grandkids can positively impact their “neurological capabilities, emotional intelligence and insight.”

Discover a new sense of purpose

You might notice that you have a new sense of purpose with the arrival of grandchildren. After years of raising your kids, you get to see the next generation of your family take shape. You’ll likely want to spend as much time as possible with your grandkids, as quality time with them can help enrich your lives.

It’s been noted that “people approaching their twilight years can struggle with their changing roles.” These feelings can seep into their personal lives. However, having grandkids can often help give older individuals a new sense of purpose and responsibility. That’s why it’s so important to make time for your family. If you can, it’s a good idea to live close by. This will make arranging visits with your grandkids a lot easier.

Creating a lasting bond

To form a strong bond with your grandchildren, try to take a real, active interest in their hobbies. If they enjoy movies, take them on movie dates, or introduce them to some of your favourite films. If they like playing soccer, get outside and kick the ball around with them, and watch professional matches. If they take a fancy to cooking, be their sous-chef, go to the library and grab some interesting cookbooks, and take them out to eat at unique restaurants. Help ignite their passion by being there and encouraging them along the way.

Just remember that your role as a grandparent is very different from that of a parent. You don’t have all the responsibilities that you once had when you were raising your kids. So, it’s a good idea to set out some rules and boundaries with your adult children and their spouses when looking after your grandkids to help ensure that their parenting style is respected.

Your grandchildren will love having you around

There’s an old saying that says it takes a village to raise a child, and it helps if you can be a big part of that community. So, try to be present throughout the stages of your grandchildren’s lives. Just like your own kids, they grow up fast. Blink, and they’re another year older. Like any relationship, the more time and energy you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. And your grandchildren will have lots and lots of energy — that’s for sure.

We hope that you have a great retirement, and that it’s made even richer by the relationships you form with your grandkids.

[Sources] “The health benefits of grandparenting,” November 2018. "Physical activity" October 2022. “10 Reasons It's Important for Kids to Spend Time With Grandparents.” 2020. “27 Ways having Grandchildren Changes Your Life,” July 2019. “8 thoughtful ideas to help you keep a strong relationship with your grandchildren.” November 2019. “How to Honor Boundaries as a Grandparent,” August 2020.