Both paternal and maternal grandmothers play an important role by giving their grandchild’s love, guidance, and wisdom. Grandchildren’s connections with their grandmothers, however, might differ greatly. 

What is a Paternal grandmother?

Your paternal grandmother is specifically the mother of your father.

Here’s a deeper look at the meaning:

  • Paternal: This word comes from the Latin word “pater” meaning “father.” It refers to anything related to your father’s side of the family.
  • Grandmother: This refers to the parent (mother) of your parent.

Therefore, combining these two terms pinpoints your father’s mother as your paternal grandmother.

What is the maternal grandmother?

Your maternal grandmother is your mother’s mother. It refers specifically to the woman who is your mother’s parent.

Here’s a breakdown of the meaning:

  • Maternal: This word comes from the Latin word “mater” meaning “mother.” It signifies anything related to your mother’s side of the family.
  • Grandmother: This refers to the parent (mother) of your parent.

Therefore, combining these two terms pinpoints your mother’s mother as your maternal grandmother.

What is the difference b/w Maternal and Paternal Grandmothers?

The difference between paternal and maternal grandmothers is one important feature. Maternal grandmother is the mother of your mother while paternal grandmother is your father’s mother. 

Why do grandchildren sometimes feel more attached to one grandmother than the other? To understand this, you need to understand family dynamics, genetics, and societal changes.

AspectMaternal GrandmotherPaternal Grandmother
Genetic ConnectionDirect genetic link through mitochondrial DNA.There is no direct genetic link, but traits are inherited through genes.
RelationshipMostly, there is a closer relationship between grandchildren and maternal grandmother.The bond between the child and paternal grandmother is strong but less than that of the maternal grandmother. 
SupportProvide support during tough times, offering help and financial assistance.She provides support but not to a satisfactory level.
Child CareShe is actively involved in grandchild care and family planning as well.She is less involved in care and events but the trend is changing.
Emotional ConnectionPerceived as more emotionally connected, described as “fun-loving” and “outgoing.”She mostly focuses on building strong kids, which is why children have less emotional connection.
Physical ConnectionShe does not live close by but is more involved in family events and gatherings.She is less involved in family gatherings, however, the concept is the opposite in Asian countries such as India.
Changing DynamicsThe advantage of the maternal grandmother is declining, and the paternal grandmother is becoming more involved in family life.The paternal grandmother is now more involved in childcare and family activities, leading to a balanced dynamic.
Shared Family HistoryDirectly linked to family history through mitochondrial DNA, creating a unique familial connection.Contribute to family history, passing down values, stories, and traditions.
Continuity and IdentityCrucial role in shaping family identity and continuity through passing down traditions and values.She also contributes to family identity and continuity, which is increasingly important in modern dynamics.

The Grandparental Connection

Grandmothers have an important role in family relationships. They often act as the foundations of traditions, love, and support. But there is the question, why do some grandchildren feel more connected to their paternal grandmothers than their maternal grandmothers?

Genetics and Family Bonds

Genetic factors can influence the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Studies have shown that genes play a significant role in shaping our personalities, behaviours, and even our family relationships.

| Also Read this:: Difference Between Maternal and Paternal – Genetic Variations

The Genetic Link of the Maternal Inheritance

Our genetic composition comes from a blend of our parents’ DNA. However, mothers and their offspring share a special genetic link known as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Since mitochondrial DNA is only transferred from mother to kid, there is a clear genetic connection between maternal grandmother and their offspring.

This genetic relationship may impact the relationship between grandchildren and their mother’s grandparents. Maternal grandmothers and their grandkids could feel more connected and comfortable with one another because of their common genetic heritage.

Different Views on the Paternal Inheritance

Although grandmother and their grandchildren are connected genetically through the maternal family tree, their father’s family tree also significantly influences the relationship between paternal grandmothers.

A child’s physical and emotional characteristics are shaped by genes acquired from their paternal grandparents. On the other hand, the lack of a clear genetic connection, like mitochondrial DNA, could cause an emotional gap between paternal grandparents and their grandchildren.

Social Changes and Family Relationships

Relationships between grandparents and grandmothers are affected by changes in society, family dynamics, and genes.

The Role of GrandMothers

Grandmothers play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. Today, grandmothers are more involved than ever before, providing love, support, and guidance in various ways:

  1. Emotional Support: Grandmothers offer unconditional love and emotional support to their grandchildren, providing stability and security.
  2. Childcare Assistance: Many grandmothers help with childcare, providing a valuable support system for working parents.
  3. Passing Down Family Traditions: Grandmothers play a crucial role in passing down family traditions, stories, and values, helping to create a sense of continuity and identity within the family.

Influence of Genes in Grandparents’ Relation

While genetics alone cannot explain the complex dynamics of grandparent-grandchild relationships, it undoubtedly shapes these bonds.

The Impact of Shared Genes

Shared genes between grandmothers and grandchildren can influence various aspects of their relationship, including:

  • Physical Resemblance: Grandchildren may share physical traits with their maternal and paternal grandmothers, creating a sense of familiarity and connection.
  • Personality Traits: Genetic factors can influence personality traits and behaviours. Grandchildren may share certain personality traits with their grandmothers, whether maternal or paternal.
  • Family History: Genetic links connect grandchildren to their ancestors, shaping their family history and identity.


Both paternal and maternal grandmothers love their grandparents. However, grandchildren may have a special attraction to one of them. It may be due to care, support and love from a grandmother. But there are many other factors which influence the closeness between these relationships such as genes, society and family dynamics. Some children may be close to their paternal grandmother while some may be close to their maternal grandmother.

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