Who are Today’s Grandparents?
“Govern a family as you would cook a small fish – very gently.” – Chinese Proverb
Never before in the history of the world have grandparents been given so many opportunities. We cannot be defined by our age, gender or social status. Some grandparents work fulltime, others are retired. Some live on yachts, and some live in smaller cabins at the back of their children’s homes.
As the life expectancy has grown, so have the number of grandparents. While in 1900, less than half of American adolescents had at least two living grandparents, that figure had grown to 90% in 1976. Today there are about 80 million American grandparents, which is more than a third of the adult population. (Source)
So Much Has Changed
The world has changed so dramatically in the past thirty to fifty years. The things we know now would have seemed foreign and strange to our parents, never mind our grandparents. Can you imagine trying to explain how a smartphone works to your grandparents?
What about the internet? Can you imagine how extraordinary video games would seem to your grandparents, never mind about you!
Many people are becoming grandparents in their late 40s. They are still working fulltime, and are still paying off their mortgages. Their children have left home, and within a period of a few years their homes are filled with the sounds and smells of babies and toddlers.
How has your role as grandparent changed from that of your parents or even grandparents?
Do you think these changes are the best?