Why a Maternal Grandmother Is So Important for a Child

The childhood is unforgettable if there is a loving granny in it. No one forgets the smell of freshly baked cookies that your grandmother has made, then her amazing stories and words of wisdom, love, and kindness.

Whenever we think of our grandmothers we have this warm feeling that overwhelms our whole body. All grandmothers offer a great deal to their grandchildren, but from scientific view maternal mothers invest more in their grandchildren than the paternal ones in terms of genes.

From a genetic pint of view we receive more genes from the grandmothers from the mother’s side. Let us specify.

We inherit the genes from our parents that are made of DNA that is later on broken up into separate pieces named as chromosomes. Each human being has a pair of 23 chromosomes, one from each of our parents. The 22 pairs of chromosomes are same, only the last one differs depending on the gender.

How grandmothers take their part in our genes?

We inherit the genes from our parents, 50% from the father and the other 50% from the mother, so consequently we share 25% of our DNA with our grandparents.

Women have two copies of the X chromosome, and men have one Y and one X chromosome. These chromosomes are accountable for determining the gender of the person.

The maternal grandmothers pass on 25% of their X chromosomes to both their granddaughters and grandsons. On the other hand, the paternal grandmothers pass on one of their X chromosomes, but only to their granddaughters, and not to their grandsons.

Grandmothers also benefit a lot from their active presence in the lives of their grandchildren. Their post-menopausal period is more meaningful when enjoying the company of their grandchildren. On the other hand, their presence contributes to longer lifespan of their grandchildren according to the “Grandmother Hypothesis”.

Leslie Knapp, an anthropologist, along with his team confirmed the validity of this theory. They have found a genetic link in their comprehensive study. Namely, they investigated birth and death records of seven major populations in the world, and they used data even form the far 17th century. They zeroed in on infant mortality rates and the presence of a grandmother from the mother’s side. The conclusion was that the genes influence on the effect of a maternal grandmother’s presence in a child’s life. This means that the grandmother will care more for her grandchild if her DNA percentage is higher in that child.

This care is done unconsciously by the maternal grandchildren since the genes do all the work. There is nothing strange in this behavior juts like the fact that mothers would care more about their sons than nephews.

Nonetheless of the genetic material, all grandparents love their grandchildren; just in the case of the maternal grandmothers this is more enhanced. This is the reason why maternal grandmothers can be so influential in the lives of their grandchildren.

Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean novelist, essayist, and playwright believes that genes may “skip” a generation and thus being directly passed to the grandchildren. This could be one of the reasons why many of us resemble their grandparents more than their parents. Most of the people are strongly related to their maternal grandmothers, and not only because of the biological material, but because mothers commonly pass on emotions to their daughters, and they, in turn, pass them on to their own children. When the grandmother was caring her daughter she passed her emotions which were later on passed by her daughter in her own pregnancy.

However, this does not mean that the genes will be strong factor in developing a good relationship with the grandchildren. It is a known fact that the invested effort by the grandparent will make the bond with the grandchild strong and solid.

Grandparents that have succeeded to respect the parental roles but still remain involved in the lives of their grandchildren are generally the most successful.

Every human being is different and each one of us has different family ties and relationships, but what really matters is the love, respect, and care that we put in a relationship and what we get from it.

Sources:

brightside.me

nytimes.com

peps.org