: Is grandparenting good for you? Maybe not, says new research.

by | Nov 3, 2022 | Stock Market

The budget airline AirTran used to air a funny commercial about a couple of grandparents visiting their progeny shortly after the birth of their grandchildren. The grandparents were expecting a week together with the whole family. Instead they were handed the babies at the door, while the new parents jumped into a taxi and headed for the airport. “We’ll call you when we land,” says the new mother with a smile. The scene fades with the helpless grandfather shouting at the departing taxi: “Don’t leave us with the babies! Don’t leave us with the babies!”

Few parents are quite as ruthless as this, but it’s not news to anyone, least of all grandparents, that their children are apt to treat them as free child minders. According to the U.S. Census, about a quarter of children under 5 get handed over to the grandparents part of the time. In the U.K., astonishingly, about 40% of grandparents look after their grandchildren regularly, in the overwhelming majority of cases at least once a week. Parents in these cases may assuage their consciences by insisting that the experience is good for the grandparents. There are indeed studies which find, or claim to find, that grandparents who look after their grandchildren are healthier, happier, and physically more fit as a result. Phooey, …

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