One of the last topics that we discussed in class was the role of grandparent-grandchild relationship. I found it interesting when we broke into groups and discussed our relationship with our grandparents and their roles in family. Also, we were given the chance to listen to what other people had to say (found this part to be very interesting) and we were given the opportunity to share with the class. For me personally, I have two very different relationships with my grandparents. One set of my grandparents are deceased and my other two grandparents are divorced. I live close to my grandmother (when at home) and my relationship with her is very strong as I see and talk to her all the time. However, my grandfather lives in South Carolina and I only see him on the major holidays so my relationship is non existent when those times are not around. These discussions, along with my own thoughts, got me to thinking what the lives are like for these grandparents when they actually parent their grandchildren. I found a article titled "Grandparents Who Parent Their Grandchildren: Effects on Lifestyle". The study of the article looked at a sample of 114 grandparents who provide daily care to their grandchildren. The study found that 40% of the grandparents that their contact with their friends changed as a result of their taking care of their grandchildren. The study also found that half of the subjects said that they has "some" or "a lot of" problems with family because they were providing care to their grandchildren. The study also found that most married grandparents reported no change in having time for their spouse or in marital satisfaction with their spouse.
This last finding surprised me because I have learned in past FSW courses that marital satisfaction decreases once children enter the equation. So I was surprised to see that once Grandparents had to take care of their children that their marital satisfaction remained strong and unchanging. The other results I was not surprised at.
Questions to consider for the class?
Do any of these findings surprise you or do you feel that they are all right were they should be?
Do you feel that once people hit a certain age, they are better prepared to deal with children?
Do you think that older adults are good parents or do you feel that they do not do a good job due to their age?