People often note that their own mothers like their kids more than they like them, and that seems to have been validated by a team of researchers who were looking into the matter. Apparently, a grandmother would naturally feel more empathy for her grandchildren than her own children.
Any Grandmother Is Naturally Compelled to Like Her Grandchildren
The fact that grandparents relish the opportunity to have extra-special relationships with their grandchildren is nothing surprising. According to the new study, a grandmother will naturally feel more connected with her grandchildren than with her own kids. To come to that conclusion, James Rilling, who led the study, recruited 50 women with at least one grandchild aged 3 to 12. The women were given photos of their grandchild, child, and something unrelated, and then the researchers used MRIs to scan their brains.
A Grandmother Would Feel More Emotional Empathy to Their Grandchildren
It turns out that when grandmothers viewed photos of their grandchildren, they activated brain regions that are associated with emotional empathy, showing that a grandmother may be predisposed to share her grandchildren’s emotional states. Meanwhile, photos of the women’s own children activated other areas of the brain that are linked to cognitive empathy, showing that there is more of a mental understanding of their child and less of an emotional one.
Rilling, who is a professor of anthropology, psychiatry, and behavioral sciences, has previously done a similar study asking fathers to look at photos of their kids. Apparently, grandmothers have more emotional empathy and motivation than fathers, although that is not true for every case.
While the new study has given scientists a good insight into human mentality and physiology, family relationships can differ drastically and depend on many factors, so every family has different grandparent-parent-grandchildren dynamics. Some studies even show how grandparents with outdated health guidance who participate actively in the raising of the child could be unknowingly harming their grandchildren. Still, having a grandparent who is involved in a child’s life is a blessing for most parents.
The Best Way to Talk to Teens About Current News and Events
The last few years offered a reality of unprecedented times that led to a “new normal.” While we all want to put many of those events behind us, it seems like massive stories breaking on a daily basis has become a major part of our lives. All of that political and economic stress is likely to add some tension to your own home. This can make discussing current events with your teenage kids even more challenging. Saying the right thing about difficult topics comes with a certain amount of pressure for parents. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the process.
Be Open to Learn From Each Other
Parents and teens consume news differently and look for information from different channels and resources. As you are preparing to discuss a current event or recent news, you need to go into the conversation prepared to learn from each other and not just offer your side of the story. Letting your teen feel heard as they are articulating their opinions and thoughts is a key element in having an engaged conversation.
Discuss the Role of Social Media
Everyone trusts different platforms, media, and news channels. It’s important to remember that when you are starting a discussion about the latest events. Instead of labeling some platforms as untrustworthy and others as dependable, take the diplomatic approach. Create an open exchange of information with your teen — share the news sources you find trustworthy and ask them to introduce the ones they prefer. That will help you understand the type of content your kids are exposed to online and how you can discuss the role of social media in their lives.
Remember That Teens Consume Current News Differently
As a parent, you could be tempted to forbid your teen from using social media to protect them from the world. Viral footage is instantly shared, and anyone with a smartphone can consume that information. Since teens spend the largest amount of time on their phones, they’re constantly subjected to a flow of information, and that can easily overwhelm them. Be sure to check in with your teen and help them find balance by reminding them to take physical breaks from social media, their phones, and even current news.