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The “Cherish” Effect

Regardless of our resources, as grandparents we have the opportunity to nurture our grandchildren.  We can read to them, play with them, and provide new experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have–even if we didn’t do the same for their parents when they were kids.   

Dr. George Vaillant, a pioneer in studying male adulthood, posted an article called  Why Your Childhood Is Crucial to How You’ll Age in [ http://www.nextavenue.org/blog/why-your-childhood-crucial-how-youll-age ].  He wrote about how boys’ early relationships with parents have a profound impact on their long-term health and their outlook on life. His study included a scale of childhood warmth, with loveless at one end and cherished at the other.

For a long time I’ve observed grandparents who make a real contribution to their grandchildren’s lives through large and small gestures; grandparents who primarily serve as baby sitters and chauffeurs, and grandparents for whom minimal exposure to grandkids is plenty.   Whether we know it or not, how we cherish our children’s children will have a huge impact.

Think about that when you think about your legacy.

 

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