Grandparents Raising Grandkids

Article taken from the Associated Press:

“The number of U.S. children being raised by their grandparents rose sharply as the recession began, according to a new analysis of census data. The reasons, while somber, were not all economic.

These grandparents often give themselves high marks as caregivers, but many face distinctive stresses as they confront unanticipated financial burdens and culture shock that come with the responsibilities of child-raising.

In all, roughly 7 million U.S. children live in households that include at least one grandparent, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the most recent Census Bureau data, from 2008. Of that number, 2.9 million were being raised primarily by their grandparents — up 16 percent from 2000, with a 6 percent surge just from 2007 to 2008.

“Clearly something was going on” in those years, said Pew senior researcher Gretchen Livingston, a co-author of Thursday’s analysis. “We don’t have the data to explicitly state that this is related to recession, but it’s a very educated guess.”

Reasons for grandparents taking over child-rearing duties are manifold — often involving a single parent who becomes overwhelmed with financial problems, is incarcerated, succumbs to illness or substance abuse, or dies. High rates of divorce and teen pregnancies fuel the phenomenon, as do long overseas deployments confronting some parents in the military.

“It’s almost inevitable that there is some stress around the reason these grandparents and grandchildren come together,” said Donna Butts, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Generations United.

“You’re talking about older adults who have agreed to make some sacrifice in their life, and they need to have some support and respect,” Butts said. “There are a lot of emotions that the children and the grandparents experience — an anger, a loss of their traditional role.”

Read the rest here.

What do you believe is the culprit in the significant increase of grandparents raising grandkids? How does it effect biological parents? How does it effect the children being raised? Most of all how is this effecting our society?


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