Research Proves That The Relationship Between a Grandma and Her Grandchildren is One-of-a-Kind

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We always knew that grandmas and their grandchildren always have a special bond. I always thought that bond was unexplainable. I guess I was wrong! A new study done by Emory University showed just how special this connection truly is.

grandmother and granddaughter

This study was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal last month and was based on 50 grandmothers. Each of these grandmothers was monitored while they were shown pictures of their children, their grandchildren, and a random adult and child.

These grandmothers were also asked many questions about their relationship with their children and grandchildren. The researchers wanted to see their role in taking care of both.

This study showed that grandmas use a different type of empathy with their grandchildren, which is emotional empathy. They don’t use this empathy with their own kids, but rather cognitive empathy.

This means that grandmas can understand what their child is going through, but wants to emotionally relate more to their grandchildren and what they are feeling. Pretty fascinating huh?

James Rilling, Emory professor of anthropology and author shared in a press release: “What really jumps out in the data is the activation in areas of the brain associated with emotional empathy. That suggests that grandmothers are geared toward feeling what their grandchildren are feeling when they interact with them. If their grandchild is smiling, they’re feeling the child’s joy. And if their grandchild is crying, they’re feeling the child’s pain and distress.”

How cool is that! Hopefully, more research comes out so we can learn more about this relationship and the science behind it!

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6 comments on “Research Proves That The Relationship Between a Grandma and Her Grandchildren is One-of-a-Kind”

  1. I live in a state where they don’t hold grand parents as important people in their grand kids lives. I’m being with held from seeing them after iv been there as an active sport for them since birth

  2. I love being with my granddaughters. I agree with this article, I get their emotions and I want to be on their side but, I want my son and his wife to earn the hard knocks of being the parent and I back off.
    I had a wonderful grandmother who was also my friend up to the day she died at 90 and I was 47 and hope to be like her and be friends with my granddaughters as well. You’ve gotta have someone in your corner!!

  3. This story is so inspiring. I am a grandmother. I love my girls too much i drive my daughter nuts. She thinks i am dramatic and exaggerate.

  4. My kids and most importantly my grandchildren are what keep me going! We try to make as many memories as possible.

  5. My older grandkids and I are getting emotionally distanced. They are 14 years old, they used to cry when I was leaving, now they do not care if I am there or not. Is that common and what can I do to bring that closeness again.

  6. I agree with this article because I was fortunate enough to have one set of grandparents like this!  

    Unfortunately my adult kids have no grandparents in their lives that they have good memories with…. I have a difficulty in teaching my mom to be their friend and play nice.  She’s honestly such a bitch and just ruined a family Christmas by her ugly comments.  No reason for this!

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