Grandparent’s Day

Grandparents Day – September 8-13, 2010

Did you know there is a “National Grandparents Day ? I didn’t and I am a grandmother of eight! Well, way back in 1970, Marian McQuade, a West Virginia housewife, came up with the idea of a day set aside to encourage families to visit their elderly relatives.

With a firm resolve to make it happen, she began lobbying policymakers. McQuade got through to her Senators, Jennings Randolph and Robert Byrd, who introduced a resolution to make Grandparents Day a national holiday. It took a while to reach the White House, but finally, in 1978, the resolution declaring National Grandparents Day as the first Sunday after Labor Day, was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. At the time Carter said the holiday would recognize “the importance and worth of the 17 million grandparents in our nation. There are now 70 million grandparents in the United States.

The law requires the President to call on the people of the United States to observe National Grandparents Day with appropriate pomp and circumstance. This year is was on September 12, the 31st anniversary. Like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, it is a time for families to celebrate and honor the important role grandparent’s play in children’s lives.

This inspired me to do some research on Grandparents and this is what I fact checked on :

  • Grandparents represent one-third of the population with 1.7 million new grandparents added every year.
  • Grandparents lead 37% of all U.S. households in this country. That is 44 million households nationwide and that number is increasing, forecast to hit 50 million by 2015.
  • Grandparents love being grandparents: 72 % think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.
  • 63% say they can do a better job caring for grandchildren than they did with their own children.
  • 68% think being a grandparent brings them closer to their adult children.
  • 90% enjoy talking about their grandchildren to just about everyone.

Grandparents are younger than ever before: 43% became grandparents in their fifties, 37% in their forties, with an average age of grandparents in this country at 48. Now, in 2010 more than 50% of the grandparent population are baby boomers and by 2015 it will increase to 60%.

  • Grandparents are in the workforce: 60% still have full or part time jobs; 23% have started their own businesses.
  • They support their adult children and grandchildren financially. They spend $52 billion every year on their grandchildren and $32 billion on education related costs.
  • They like to spend time with their grandkids. 60% live close to them; 46% wish they lived even closer; 70 %see the kids at least once a week; 66% travel with them; 81% have them for part or all of their summer vacations; and 55% play video games with their grandchildren.
  • Many grandparents live under the same roof as their grandkids: 6.2 million or 5.3% of all U.S. households are now multigenerational. This is according to the U.S Census Bureau Current Population Survey.

Grandparents Day has come and gone but it is more important than ever to recognize them. According to Washington Post Staff Writer, Carol Morello, in her September 10, 2010 article, the number of children being raised by their grandparents has risen sharply since the start of the recession in 2007. A new Pew Research Center study found that one in 10 children in the U.S. now lives with a grandparent. Another Pew study said the number of households composed of multiple generations is higher than it has been in a half century because of all the job losses and foreclosures that mark this recession.

This is a growing challenge for Grandparents. For many it involves making a life-changing decision to dedicate one’s life to raising a child when one may be looking forward to more leisure and less responsibility. A lot of the time they have lost their retirement savings. Another estimate is that close to 8 million children are being raised by grandparents. Perhaps we are looking at a Grandparents Generation that translates to “Grandparent Power !

Sydney Seaver was a part of Ergobaby since 2004, first as Personal Assistant to the president and eventually as Administrative Assistant. She is a graduate of the University of Texas with a BA in Liberal Arts. Prior to coming to ERGO she had her own company, Ergonomic Resource Group. She is the mother of five including two sets of twins and grandmother of eight including a set of twins.

October 6, 2010