Grandparents Day, as in the official September holiday, is behind us for another year… but I think every day should be Grandparents Day.
It’s not just because I love grandparents. Statistics shared in a fantastic infographic (at right) from Generations United show that we’re in the midst of a grandparent boom. In 1980, there were 40 million grandparents. In 2011, there were 65 million. By 2020, there will be 80 million grandparents.
Besides their sheer numbers, the statistics from Generations United also show grandparents as heavily involved in their families; gone are the days of grandparents as just “those two older relatives of ours who live far away and we see only once or twice a year.” Grandparents are in multigenerational households, are taking care of the grandkids, and in many cases are the heads of their multigenerational households.
They’re investing billions of dollars this way, saving taxpayers money by keeping grandchildren-in-crisis out of the foster care system and spending money on private school tuition. They’re talking to their grandkids about religion, spirituality, morals and values. A recent MetLife study, Grandparents Investing in Grandchildren, revealed the selfless time and money contributions made by grandparents, even at the expense of their own future financial security: download it here.
Grandparents are working hard, just like they always have. Of course they know how to have fun too, but Grandma and Grandpa’s roles, and their names, have changed drastically in recent decades.
Review these articles about the changing names — and responsibilities — of modern grandparents:
- Around the World, Grandparents Are Primary Caregivers
- Grandparenting in the Days of Aurora Gunman James Holmes
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Big Hearts for Hard Times
- Lalo, Glamma, Popsi & John: Today’s Grandparents Rejecting Old Names
If you happen to be one of these hard-working grandparents, consider these resources for activity ideas, support, and more:
- Grandparents and Intergenerational Activities Resource Guide
- 25 Ways to Raise Terrific Grandkids
- On Your Lap, In Your Heart: Resources for Grandparents and Grandparent-Headed Families of Children Aged Birth to Three
Know a grandparent who could benefit from this information? Share it and thank them for their priceless investments today.