Move over, mum and dad: kids are turning to grandparents for life advice, a new study finds

Grandparents have a fountain of knowledge and research says grandkids are seeking out their sound advice

Grandmother embracing granddaughter at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Grandparents are the among the best humans in the world – fact. Whether it’s their knack for storytelling, swooping in with love and spoils for the grandkids or their built-in babysitting qualities, it’s hard to imagine where we’d be without them.

No, seriously, they're a proven fundamental in family dynamics: one study found Grandparents are likely to live for longer if their children have kids later in life, while another suggested mothers are less likely to struggle with their mental health if their kids’ grandparents live close by.

Kids are catching on fast too, apparently, as new research has revealed that they're seeking life advice from their grandparents – more so than their actual parents. The study, conducted by Preply, asked 1,500 Americans from all 50 states a tonne of questions, such as what they call their grandparents and how often they see their grandparents.

Interestingly, an impressive 68 per cent of respondents expressed a preference for spending time with their grandparents over their parents. Although the majority of these states were located in the eastern and midwestern regions of the US, families in California also showed similar behaviours.

Grandparents have got this treasure trove of wisdom that's tucked away in their pockets and are always ready to sprinkle some life advice whenever you ask for it. So it makes sense that 49 per cent of those surveyed stated their willingness to confide in their grandparents about matters that are uncomfortable discussing with their parents.

Grandson in grandfathers arms

Grandson in grandfathers arms

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And let’s not forget, grandparents have this magical ability to mix tough love with a warm hug, which makes the perfect recipe for advice to actually sink in. 

The data revealed that the average American interacts with at least one of their grandparents 27 times a year, slightly exceeding a bi-weekly frequency. Additionally, approximately 45 per cent of those surveyed reported engaging in monthly phone calls with their grandparents, underscoring their willingness to maintain regular contact with them. So, if you're finding that your text messages are being aired by your kids, they could be too busy speaking to their grandparents over the phone!

Although the research was centred around American families, we’re confident that grandparents make up for a huge proportion of unsung heroes in all families around the world.

In other family news, it turns out you can inherit your grandparents' trauma, even if you've never met them and discover the top 10 tips for building relationships with ‘estranged’ grandparents.

Daniella Gray
Family News & Wellbeing Writer

From building healthy family relationships to self-care tips for mums and parenting trends - Daniella also covers postnatal workouts and exercises for kids. After gaining a Print Journalism BA Hons degree and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism at Nottingham Trent University, Daniella started writing for Health & Wellbeing and co-hosted the Walk to Wellbeing podcast. She has also written for Stylist, Natural Health, The Sun UK and Fit & Well. In her free time, Daniella loves to travel, try out new fitness classes and cook for family and friends.