The Role Grandparents Play in Fostering Children’s Social Competencies

Authors

  • Samar Shaikh

Abstract

In a society and at a time when ageism reduces the value of grandparenting, research on grandparents is essential in order to sustain the significance of this role in the lives of children. This study examines the relationship children have with their grandparents and investigates a correlation between children who have daily access to their grandparents and the level of social competencies they display in their everyday lives. For the purposes of this study, social competencies in children are defined as empathy, a strong sense of self-concept, conversational skills, and relationship ties with others. The study employs a mosaic approach to data collection and includes interviews, drawings, surveys, role-playing exercises, and observational methods to determine the various social competencies children display. Participants include a five-year-old and two seven-year-olds, and called upon three parents and two grandparents to assist in the study. While findings are inconclusive due to the small sample size, a potential correlation between social support and social competencies in children is suggested. Moreover, the study offers insights into the ways grandchildren view their grandparents, an under-researched area in grandparent studies and points to potential avenues for future exploration.

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