A new study reveals that burdening grandparents with the care of their grandchildren might result in a negative impact on both sides. The main issue is that seniors are sticking to their outdated parenting practices. These methods might actually put children at risk. On the other hand, grandparents might also suffer from additional stress in these situations.
Study Found Seniors’ Parenting Practices to Be Outdated
The new research was conducted by Andrew Adesman, a pediatrician at Northwell Health in New York. The professional extended his work across three types of studies. All of them concentrated on the effects of grandchildren whose care became the sole responsibility of grandparents. Researchers soon discovered that grandparents have to face a cultural gap between yesterday’s and today’s parenting practices.
Within the first stage of the study, researchers surveyed 636 grandparents. One of the main findings was that seniors are still believers in outdated care tips. For instance, 44% of them were convinced that an extremely high fever could be cured in a natural way through ice baths. However, this solution was found without foundation. On top of that, it can put the life of a child in jeopardy. Moreover, 25% were not aware that putting newborns to sleep on their stomach or side is one of the causes of sudden infant death syndrome.
Grandparents Admitted New Responsibilities Are Impairing Their Lives
The other two phases of the research focused on surveying 774 grandparents. One in 10 stated that they lacked support systems to help them with their care for grandchildren. Moreover, 12% of them admitted that they don’t enjoy even a quality support system for themselves.
In their third wave of surveys, researchers discovered that one-third of participants had at least one medical condition that impaired their parenting practices. Not only that, but 40.3% admitted that their new responsibilities affected their emotional health, while 32.4% stated that their physical health worsened because of this.
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