“I am closer to my grandchildren than to my own children”: why are grandparents so complicit?

I am closer to my grandchildren than to my own

Grandparents often have a very strong relationship with their grandchildren, sometimes much more than with their own adult children. A complicity that has a scientific explanation!

When you take your children to visit their grandparents, have you ever noticed that their attention is immediately focused on your offspring? You may be present in front of them, a simple hello, then it’s as if you didn’t exist for a moment. Seen from the outside too, sometimes you only have to look at them together to realize to what extent they are so complicit. It is a fact in most families, grandparents are often very close to their grandchildren, much more than with their own adult children.

Could the reason be because grandparents love their grandchildren more? Those mainly concerned assure that this is not the case. “I am a grandmother and I love my grandchildren as much as I love my children, I couldn’t love them more, it would be impossible”, confides an Internet user on the Mumsnet forum. On the other hand, what makes them particularly complicit is the nature of their relationship. Grandparents have a natural connection with their grandchildren. They share more fun times with them, without the stress of being a parent. Clearly, they are grandfathers or grandmothers and they are not responsible for the daily tasks related to the education of their grandchildren.

This link can also be explained scientifically. According to an American study, carried out by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta and reported on November 17, 2021 in the journal The Royal Society Publishing of London, grannies in particular are said to have the ability to sense their grandchildren’s emotions when they interact together. “If their grandchild smiles, they feel their joy. And if he cries, they feel his pain and distress.”, explains the anthropologist James Rilling who participated in the work. Furthermore, young children are, in fact, more affectionate than adults. Which would explain why grandmothers are more eager and enthusiastic to see their grandchildren than their own children. Hugs, laughter, stories to read with grandpa or grandma, walks and games… So many shared and unique moments that our elders love to savor. As for the children, they enjoy these special moments, especially when they are looked after by their grandparents.