Children's health | Health | Parenting | Grandparents | Family

Spoiling Your Grandchildren Can Greatly Impact Their Health

We all know that grandparents are always trying to do their best to make their grand kids' lives as wonderful as possible. Going to Grandma's house almost always means you get to eat the best cookies, watch the best shows and of course they are way more lenient on the rules than parents are.  The problem is that it turns out that by giving the kids such an easy time, it's actually harmful to their development.

A study was done to see how grandparents are impacting their grand kids, and while you might think all of this attention is good for them, it turns out that this overindulgent behavior is going to hurt more than it will help.

Grandparents who are a significant part of their grandchildren's lives have a lot more power than you might think. Scientists conducted a study to see how their actions would impact the weight, physical activity, and potential smoking habits of kids, and in several cases the grandparents' influence caused a negative effect later in life.

The thing is, grandparents are more likely to let the kids indulge in sugary foods as a "treat", but by doing this they are teaching the children to use food as an emotional tool. Some try to justify it because "there are two sets of grandparents - and you don't want to be the one that isn't giving them the nice piece of cake," but it still has the same result. Teaching a child to eat emotionally will stick with them for their whole lives and can cause weight gain in the future.

The study showed that despite the potential damage, "children benefit enormously from having close relationships with their grandparents right through childhood into adolescence."

What they hope, is that by revealing how much of an impact they have, that grandparents will put a greater emphasis on teaching kids the proper life skill. "If healthy habits begin early in life, it's much easier to continue them as an adult."

They hope that by emphasizing healthy choices, grandparents will be able to encourage their grandchildren to make better choices and be healthy later in life.

Are you guilty of letting your grand kids indulge when they come over?

Tanya has been writing for Shared for two years. She spends too much time thinking about dogs, Marvel movies, and ice cream. You can reach me at tanya@shared.com