The Benefits of Intergenerational Relationships

We have always been advocates for intergenerational relationships; from our very first weekly visits to Nanny Beat, to coffee shop dates with Grandad John, to our now weekly visits with Nanny & Nut, intergenerational relationships are always something that we’ve placed huge emphasis on and so we’ve tried to incorporate into our routine as much as possible. 

For us, the benefits are so great for everyone involved and from what might seem like such a simple and easy concept to engage in, the benefits for the children are simply phenomenal. 

Nanny and Nut have been away on holiday recently and couple with our own annual leave and changes in routines, we haven’t been able to visit in over a month until this week and the children were over the moon to learn we’d be visiting again this week. 

As home-based childcare providers we pride ourselves on building and creating a home-from-home environment and real sense of ‘family’ within the setting and so our intergenerational visits and experiences only compliment this in our opinion. 

For some children, they don’t have grandparents that live close by or they visit regularly and so for many, Nanny & Nut are the only older ‘relatives’ and relationships they are able to forge and it is so important to us that all children get to experience these deep and meaningful relationships with the older generation. 

The children learn so much from Nanny and Nut; from making and flipping pancakes with Nanny, to helping Nut with his crops, and his incredible knowledge and support in our growing endeavours (without him we would achieve nothing!) to shelling monkey nuts to feed to the birds that frequent their garden; what the children gain from their visits are unfathomable. 

Not only this, but from an emotional point of view too, as we mentioned above, some children do not have the opportunity to frequently visit and make relationships with the older generation and so for them, these visits are invaluable and allow them to form relationships that they would usually not experience. 

It is not just us as professionals who see the benefits of these visits for the children, but our parents and families do too: 

“Both of my children love visiting Nanny & Nut who have built such warm relationships with my boys. Mark is always excited to go to “Nanny & Nut’s house” to play with toys, have a snack, do some gardening, chase bubbles and to get the best cuddles. It’s lovely to see how well he’s developing his interaction with the elder generation and it’s especially precious for us as my boys’ grandparents live in a different country and, sadly, they don’t see them as often as we would like to.” 

-Marina – parent of M & M 

“The visits to Nanny & Nut are so important for my daughter – she’s been going since she was a tiny baby and has grown up with Nanny & Nut being significant figures in her life from the outset and she very much views them as part of her family which is particularly poignant for her as she has no older relatives and so the opportunity to build these relationships that I was so lucky to have with my own grandparents and engage in real-life, hands-on experience mean a lot to me.”

-Josh – parent of W

“P literally sees them as her own ‘Nanny and Nut’. Just like extra family which shows how much she enjoys her time there.” 

-Danni – parent of P

During the pandemic, the children noticeably felt the absence of Nanny & Nut and our visits and often spoke about them, reminisced on previous visits and made them pictures and wanted to share news with them and so we tried to maintain some level of normality for them by doing our drive-by visits and even sitting outside for snack just to have some level of connection with them – which both parties were incredibly grateful for. 

We could never have predicted just how poignant and special these visits would become for all of us and it is only a significant absence like the one we have just experienced that we truly see the value of these visits and just how important these visits are to the children’s routine and how these relationships enrich their experiences tenfold. 

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