Grannies stay sharper through babysitting

It is good news for parents who need a reprieve from parenting duties over school holidays – but grandparents shouldn't overdo it. The study also found that too much babysitting was associated with mental decline when it came to mental processing. 

The researchers from the University of Melbourne examined how grandparenting affects cognition among  women, and found that the amount of time spent minding grandchildren could predict performance in cognition tests.

Minding grandchildren for one day a week predicted higher scores on two of three cognitive acuity tests. However, taking care of grandchildren for five days a week or more had a negative effect on test scores for memory and mental processing speed. 

The researchers said the results indicated that highly frequent grandparenting predicts lower cognitive performance.

The more time grandmothers spent taking care of grandchildren, the more they reported that