A recent study by the light-reading organization, Evolution & Human Behavior, has concluded that "Grandparenting" is an evolutionary mechanism that has "contributed to an increase in human life expectancy."
Evidently, the increase in human longevity is related to something called "The Grandmother Hypothesis" which you can read about in Psychology Today. This hypothesis, by anthropologist Kristen Hawkes (The University of Utah), explains the mystery menopause, and why it evolved.
It seems having Grandmothers around, specifically maternal grandmothers, makes offspring much more likely to survive into adulthood. This is an evolutionary advantage for women who have lived past their childbearing years. That enables them to pass along "longevity genes" to their grandchildren.
So if you ever needed a reason to spend time with your grand kids, this is it! You can even share this little tidbit with your adult kids, to prove they need to keep you involved. (Not that they WOULDN'T want you involved!)
The Cleveland clinic's perspective
The Cleveland Clinic, though not involved in the study, adds their own perspective to why Grandparenting is important.
They cite one study that concluded that seniors who provided some care , whether for their grandchildren or for others, had a lower risk of death over a 20-year period than those who did not help others.
A link between providing care and reducing stress helps you, because the relationship between stress and higher risk of dying is well documented. Says Dr. Factora of The Cleveland Clinic “If providing care to grandchildren and others in need is one way that can actually reduce stress, then these activities should be of benefit to folks who are grandparents and provide this care to their grandkids.”
Watch this video to find out more.