What Maternal Grandparents in a Child's Life Mean: Role & Influence

Importance of Maternal Grandparents in a Child’s Life

It is extremely important to allow your children to have a major chunk of their childhood immersed in the love of their grandparents. Studies indicate that the more the lives of their grandchildren are soaked with the love of the grandparents, the better it is for the children, the grandparents, and the parents.

It’s undeniable the love and support that every grandparent showers on their grandchildren. One can never sense the difference between maternal and paternal grandparents’ love. Naturally, a child feels particularly close to the maternal grandparents, and various research studies support this view.

Both scientific studies and anecdotal evidence illustrate that, in general, maternal grandparents tend to be closer to grandchildren than paternal grandparents. Ask a child whom they feel closest; the order typically ranges from: a maternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, and paternal grandfather. While this is not entirely true and bears exceptions, it is often the most relatable fact.

Genetic Influence of Maternal Grandparents

When we begin to dissect why a majority feel closer to their maternal grandparents, the primary factor that pops up is the genetic influence.

Scientific theories suggest a strong genetic bond between the maternal grandparents and their grandchildren, especially the maternal grandmother. Maternal grandmother gives birth to the mothers who give birth to the children, and hence they share a closer connection with their maternal grandmother. It is also found that across the world, irrespective of the geographical and societal differences, maternal grandparents are likely to accept more responsibility for the kids and be more with them.

As uncanny as it may sound, some theories suggest, genetically, paternal and maternal grandmothers disproportionately devote time or love to their grandchildren. The X-chromosome connection better supports this theory.

Maternal grandmothers share 25% X-relatedness to their grandchildren, while paternal grandmothers give one of their X-chromosomes to their granddaughters, but nothing to their grandsons. This share makes paternal grandmothers 0% X-related to their grandsons and 50% X-related to their granddaughters.

Are Maternal Grandparents Closer to Children Than the Paternal Ones?

Importance Of Maternal Grandparents

Theories and various incidents found that the strength of care and attention provided by the four grandparents is not equal but commonly different. Various factors influence this besides genetics.

The most stereotypical concept yet one that still pertains is the distraught relationship between a woman and her mother-in-law. The relationship between the two might be complicated and weighed down with jealousy and possession, which may, in turn, affect the relationship between the paternal grandparents and grandchildren.

Another theory suggests that the ostensible “paternal uncertainty” that may decrease the commitment of paternal relatives, including grandparents, into upbringing the grandchildren and spending time with them.

Besides, there are also various other factors identified by surveys and experience that exercise great influence on a relationship’s closeness. Geographical proximity is another important role. Although grandparents can clone superhero and fly miles to be with their grandkids, the easier they are to access, the closer they feel. A grandparent’s employment status, economic status, health, character, and personality can also be notable, influential elements.

Role and Importance of a Maternal Grandparent in a Child’s Life

The role of the maternal grandparents is established pretty early, with maternal grandmothers staying beside the mother and holding the baby right from the labor ward. The maternal grandmother stays more often with the mother to help after a baby’s birth, starting the early bond with the grandchild. Naturally, they are more likely to be preferred to babysit when they start growing up, and it is more possible to be drawn in school activities when the grandchild goes to school.

The maternal and paternal grandparents’ roles also swerve more extensively during testing times, such as the parents’ divorce. In most cases, a mother wins custody of the children, and the maternal grandparents often stride in to fill the gaps in parenting and offer stability to the family, bringing them closer to their grandchildren. 

Indisputably, the hard work put by a grandparent is immeasurable. Grandparents always want to be involved in their grandchildren’s lives, regardless of their spot on the family tree. Grandparents fetch experiences to a child’s life different from what the parents give them, and for all those, let’s just rejoice all the wonderful grandparents out there.

Also Read: Why Grandparents Are important for Your Child

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Gauri Ratnam completed her Masters in English Literature from the University of Pune. She began her journey as a German translator soon after completing her graduation, but later moved on to pursue her passion for writing. Having written for both digital and print media in a varied range of industries, she has the ability to write relatable and well-researched content, benefical for anyone seeking advice or direction.