Honoring Grandparents – It’s Great To be Grand! (Week 2)

September 16, 2021

“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.”
~ Lois Wyse

National Grandparents Day is celebrated September 12, 2021; however, this entire month has been dedicated to honoring grandparents. This week, let’s begin with AARP’s Executive Summary on how the fundamentals of the grandparenting role has remained the same, with grandchildren upholding respect for their grandparents and grandparents sharing wisdom and guidance:

• Grandchildren continue to refer to their grandparents by the traditional names (70 percent use a form of “grandma”; 60 percent use a form of “grandpa”).
• Over half of grandparents consider themselves a source of wisdom and provide a moral compass on issues such as education, morals, and values.
• Grandparents take care of their grandchildren by babysitting, with one in ten living in the same household with their grandchildren, and 5 percent of those being the primary caregiver.
• Grandparents provide financially for their grandchildren, ranging from gifts to supporting their education and day-to-day costs.

The AARP Executive Summary also notes how changes in attitudes, technology, and our world have resulted in definite shifts in how grandparents relate and engage with their grandchildren:

• While traditional names such as “grandma” and “grandpa” are still prevalent, one in twenty are being referred to by their first name.
• As a whole, grandparents are embracing multiculturalism. A third have grandchildren of a different race or ethnicity and fewer have identical race grandchildren.
• Nearly all grandparents say it is important that their different race/ethnicity grandchild knows about the heritage they share, and seven in ten make an effort to help their grandchildren learn about the heritage they do not share.
• Today’s grandparents are sex positive and accepting of grandchildren’s different sexualities, with a majority saying they would support an LGBT grandchild.

Beloved, grandparents who raise their grandkids or serve as their grandchild(ren)’s fulltime caregiver have a few challenges. Grandparents often have legal issues related to obtaining guardianship, enrolling their grandchildren in school, and accessing medical care for their grandchildren. They may also have concerns related to custody battles with other grandparents or their grandchildren’s parents.

How can the Body of Christ (the Church) minister to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren? One way is to set up a monthly support group with other grandparent-headed families so they can provide spiritual support and establish a sense of community. Another avenue of ministry is to make available resources to educate these grandparents regarding custody issues, financial assistance to help with food, housing and clothing, how to obtain medical care for their grandchildren, as well as information, if needed, regarding guardianship.

Amid the challenges, grandparents all agree: IT’S GREAT TO BE GRAND! Happy Grandparents Day to Grandparents Everywhere!


“AARP 2018 Grandparents Today National Survey”.
For more information, visit WWW.AARP.ORG/ RESEARCH.

Next Week: Continuation

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