Grandparents Answer a Call

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Friday, January 30, 2009

Grandparents Answer a Call

I remember back in the 80's & 90's how experts in the youth ministry field regularly noted the negative impact that our mobile society and the resultant lack of exposure to extended family was having on that generation of kids. The implication was a means of reinforcing the need for church youth ministries to provide supportive adult relationships and role models for kids. Today, (fortunately) it appears that more and more families have rediscovered the value and power of establishing a multi-generational family approach to raising kids. I'm interested to see how much of a trend this becomes in the days ahead. Here at HomeWord, we've noticed an increase in the amount of communication we receive from grandparents and we're evaluating the need for adding grandparenting content to our website.

No statistics track the number of grandparents who are pulling up stakes and moving closer to adult children and grandchildren. Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that the trend, while still modest, is growing.

Even President Obama's mother-in-law, Marian Robinson, has agreed to leave Chicago and move into the White House to help care for her granddaughters, Malia and Sasha.

In a poll released last week by, 83 percent of respondents said Mrs. Robinson's high-profile relocation will redefine the importance of grandparents in the American family. Two-thirds believe more families will follow the Obamas' expanded family structure.

"In the 1960s we were all a little wild and couldn't get away from home far enough or fast enough to prove we could do it on our own," says Christine Crosby, publisher of Grand, a magazine for grandparents. "We've matured now as a generation and realize how important family is and how important it is to be near them, especially when you're raising children."

Source: Christian Science Monitor

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