So worried about your job – the one you just lost, are afraid of losing, or are barely holding onto while you do the work of two people – so worried you can’t give your kids enough attention? So anxious it’s bleeding into your family and your kids are getting cranky, too? Lean on G & G, Grandma and Grandpa.
If you’re fortunate enough to have extended family (or honorary extended family), now’s a great time to enlist their assistance.
Research published in the February issue of the Journal of Family Psychology suggests that spending time with a grandparent is linked with better social skills and fewer behavior problems among adolescents.
1,515 11- to 16-year olds from over 1,000 schools reported that the more they talked to a grandparent about social and school activities, got advice or felt they could ask for money, the less hyperactive and disruptive they were. They were also more likely to get along with their peers. The effect was even greater in single parent or divorcing parent families.
Lead author Attar-Schwartz, PhD, of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: “Grandparents are a positive force for all families but play a significant role in families undergoing difficulties…They can reduce the negative influence of parents separating and be a resource for children who are going through these family changes.”
If children and adolescents whose parents have separated or divorced see their grandparents as confidants and sources of comfort, maybe those stressed by their parents’ recession-related woes can, too? Why not give it a try? Reach out to G & G or Aunt Tilda as resources. Encourage your kids to confide in another trusted adult. For your sake – and your kids’.
Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.