There’s nothing quite a relationship with one’s grandparents. Many people have fond memories of laid-back quality time, delicious home-cooked meals, lots of laughs, and being able to get away with a little bit more than they normally would with others. In fact, many people believe that grandparents often “spoil” their grandkids by giving them too many treats. So some researchers in Australia decided to prove it.
In a study published by Public Health Nutrition, scientists recruited 12 grandparents caring for at least one grandchild aged 1-5 years for ten hours or more. The goal of the study was to explore the meaning and role of food treats among grandparents who provide regular informal care of young grandchildren.
In what may be a surprise for some, the researchers found that grandparents use food treats judiciously and that the study “offers an alternative narrative to the dominant discourse regarding grandparents spoiling grandchildren with excessive amounts of discretionary foods.” Further, the study pointed out that food treats can play an important role in the grandparent-grandchild relationship by differentiating their identity from parents and other family members.
Of course every family is different, but in this case, the science says that grandparents are nothing short of great by balancing the wishes of their grandchildren versus their parents’ rules.