By Lola Augustine Brown
If you love hanging out with your grandchildren, then you’re going to like this news: there’s been a positive shift in how long people Canada and the United States are getting to enjoy “healthy grandparenthood”—the time during which they’re healthy enough to fully engage and build relationships with their grandchildren.
In the first study of its kind, sociologists Rachel Margolis, of Western University in London, ON, and Laura Wright, of the University of Saskatchewan, found that even though many of us are delaying parenthood, putting off having children until we reach middle age, we can expect to enjoy a healthy grandparenthood longer than previous generations. Increased life spans balance out the fact we are older when we start our families.
According to the study, dads who are middle-aged now can look forward to 19 years of grandparenthood and to enjoying 14 of those years as a healthy grandparent; moms can expect 23 years with the grandkids and to be healthy for most of those years.
As much joy as grandchildren bring grandparents, it’s important to know that the younger generation benefits greatly from having grandma and grandpa in their lives; studies have shown that kids whose grandparents are actively involved in their lives do better socially and in school.