Grandparents who are asked to step in and play a major role in caring for their grandchildren are benefiting from a communication education program in Australia that aims to refresh their memories when it comes to fostering healthy, open relationships with children. More on the program, which is also showing positive changes trickling down to parents, from Reuters:
Researchers found families who had been through the program, designed to encourage better communication between generations and give grandparents a parenting "refresher" course, reported fewer behavior problems among children.
"The main reason we wanted to focus on grandparents is that there still aren't that many parents getting involved with parenting programs," James Kirby, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.
That means children aren't benefiting from the techniques taught in those programs, Kirby said. He is a research fellow at the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.
"Going through a channel such as grandparents is another way," he said.
That's because many older people provide some amount of care for their grandchildren.
The new program is an adaptation of the existing Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, which has existed for about 30 years. The version for grandparents lasts nine weeks and consists of seven group and two phone sessions.
The sessions focus on parenting, the relationship between grandparents and parents and unhelpful emotions - such as anxiety, stress and anger. The program takes about 15 hours to complete.
Image: Grandparents and child, via Shutterstock