It's official: Science says grannies are good for you

By Issam AHMED

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What about grandfathers?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Unlike other primates, humans are "cooperative breeders," which means mothers get help in rearing offspring.

And just which culture is this referring to?

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Depends on the granny. Unfortunately not all grandmothers are loving and caring.

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My grandmother encouraged my mother to have abortions after having two children. Mom had six kids, grandmother only favored the oldest two and ignored the rest. Few tear were shed when she passed on.

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My Dad's stepmother was a wonderful person. Thank goodness, some people have big hearts.

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Yeah tell that to my verbally and psychologicaly abusive grandma rest her soul. It could have been the dementia but people are people. Some nurturing, others not so much.

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Or can we say children with an extensive nurturing support system like extended family can improve the chances of that child thriving?

It takes a village!

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I count myself lucky in that my grandmother lived with us during the whole of my childhood until her death. I hope to see her again sometime!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Never met mine, I am the youngest of three so my grandparents had all died already by the time I was born. Given the way my oldest brother turned out, not entirely sold on the thesis here.

It's a neat look at the evolutionary biology though, but I feel not necessarily super relevant anymore. Lots of people are very physically distant from their own parents by the time they have kids, and it isn't really a village of women looking after the children anymore either. Once I was out of infancy I was mostly home alone or with my middle brother, as both of my parents were almost always working.

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I wonder if they can do this same study for "abusive parents" I wouldn't be surprised of the outcome. The logic is the same. If the parents are stressed out so will the kids be.

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Albeit not the usual thought about 'grandparents', we must go back to the time when much that we are today was being selected into our basic social structure. There was a time not long ago as both geology and biology go that Humans were as subject to routine predation as any other species. In the group, while the competent adults were about the business of eking food out of a stingy environment, the 'young', the most biologically valuable part of any genepool, were entrusted to the care of those whose senescence precluded the vigorous activities required at the time to provide adequate nutrition to the group.

What this required of the senescent quite often was to provide alternative prey to the successful predator and an override to the natural reaction to run away faster than the young could manage, that is, something that meant more to the individual than life itself, and this unconscious willingness to place themselves between the young and certain death, this sacrifice which was of great advantage to the success of the group and to Humanity in general, became part of the 'natural' behavior of Humans and, here, we see the mechanism by which that was accomplished.

My suspicion is that grandfathers will also show this same characteristic. Of course, not all Humans are identical and the power of this mechanism will vary in any individual for many reasons but, in general, is part of what has led to Human 'success' in this predatory world and diminishes in no way the value of the enhanced regard that grandparents have for their grandchildren or, as likely, given our nonhierarchical, fully co-operative, totally group based social structure at the time which was also expanding our crania, ANY children in their group. Our current deranged hierarchical, competitive, individual based social structure which is now shrinking our collective crania may have mitigated this 'concern' for children not within the 'family' group.

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