A new study has found that grandparents spoiling grandchildren can have a negative impact on children’s health.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh, the National Health Service and the University of Stirling analysed existing scientific studies and determined that grandparent’s relationships with grandchildren can result in issues such as weight gain, increased blood pressure and a lack of physical activity.
With parents spending more time at work, children are spending extra time with their grandparents. Because grandparents don’t tend to be as firm as parents, children are often spoilt and able to get away with unhealthy habits such as excess gaming and television time and sugar-laden treats.
Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center Bruce Y. Lee says that grandparents may “compete for the attention, affection, and love of their children’s children” by overfeeding them, allowing them to eat unhealthy food, letting them watch more television and not encouraging them to exercise, Forbes reports.
Instead of preventing grandparents from spending time with your child, Lee suggests discussing some guidelines with your parents. Talk to them about your child’s health and create a balance which enables your parents to dote somewhat on your child without harming their health. A good example could be that your child is allowed dessert or home baking while at their grandparents, but all other meals must be nutritious. Similarly, your child can enjoy an extra hour of screen time, after which they must go outside and play or read a book.
Lee also points out that the longer amounts of time grandparents have with your child could be used to benefit both parties’ health. “Grandparents can serve as role models for healthier lifestyles, help with cooking, take your kids out to exercise, and teach them healthy habits,” he says.