Each year on Grandparents’ Day, grandparents from across the globe travel to Blairstown to spend the day with their loved ones on the hilltop. This April 20, grandparents had the opportunity to take in a concert featuring Blair’s Symphony Orchestra, attend class with their grandchildren and catch up over lunch, as well as meet the teachers, coaches and friends about whom they have heard so much.
Beyond the pleasure that sharing in our family’s lives provides, science shows that the involvement of grandparents brings real psychological and health benefits—to members of both the older and younger generation. Research from the University of Oxford, for example, shows that grandparents who are highly involved increase their grandchild’s sense of well being; those students experience fewer difficulties with peers in school. An Australian study found that benefits also work the other way; grandmothers who regularly interact with their grandchildren perform better on cognitive tests than those who see their kin less frequently and peers without grandchildren.
Science, in short, has confirmed what many of us already knew: adolescents’ relationships with their grandparents are important in so many ways. Grandparents’ Day is a tradition that the Blair community looks forward to warmly, because, in addition to strengthening familial bonds and reinforcing a family’s support for education, the daylong program is just fun—just ask any grandparent enthusiastically cheering their favorite Buc on the athletic fields or being introduced to the marvels of Blair’s soft serve piled high with just the right toppings.
“Grandparents Day is a favorite event on campus, because so many grandparents are just happy to just be here, spending time with their grandchildren and learning about their lives,” said Susan Long, assistant director of advancement for parent relations. “It’s always a pleasure to see so many happy faces on campus, and we hope the opportunity to see Blair first hand will lead grandparents to better understand their students’ experience and remain connected to the School well into the future.”