Let me tell you about something super interesting I recently came across.
You know how much we all adore our grandbabies, right? Well, a smart psychologist named James Rilling did some research to see what happens in our brains when we’re around our precious little ones. He took a look at the brains of 50 grandmas while they looked at photos of their grandkids, and the results were fascinating!
Now I know I don’t need science to tell me that I love my grandkids, but this is really interesting.
Here’s the interesting part of the study. When these grandmas looked at photos of their own children (not grands), their brains showed a stronger connection to cognitive empathy, which is more complex and less emotional. Makes sense, though. Dealing with grown-ups can be a bit more complicated than our relationships with the grandkids.
Turns out, when we look at our grandkids, the parts of our brains that deal with emotional empathy light up like fireworks. That means we really feel what our little ones feel! If they’re happy, we’re happy. If they’re sad, we’re sad. It’s a beautiful connection we share.
James Rilling says that youngsters have a knack for charming not just mommies, but us grandmas too! Our adult kids may not be as cute as they once were, so they don’t tug on our heartstrings quite the same way. The researchers also think that we might have a more emotional connection with our grandkids because we’re not as stressed as when we were raising our own children. Basically we have more time and energy to simply love them!
This study is a pretty big deal because it highlights the important role we grandmas play in our families. It turns out, we might be more important caregivers than we realize. The amount of love we can give them is so important for their development especially since their parents are generally just not able to (for the same reasons we couldn’t!)
So, let’s keep on loving and caring for our grandbabies like the rock stars we are! We have a special bond with them, and it’s literally written in our brains. How amazing is that?