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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

Recently, a friend and I were discussing how being grandparents differs from being parents. We agreed that since we aren’t responsible for discipline or the daily care of our grandchildren, our grandparenting time is usually pretty easy.

Grandparents represent about one-third of our nation’s population. Statistically, grandparents are relatively young: 43% became grandparents in their fifties, 37% in their forties, with the average age of grandparents in this country at 48. Studies show that grandparents love being grandparents and help their children and grandchildren financially:
• 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;
• 68% think being a grandparent brings them closer to their adult children;
• 90% enjoy talking about their grandkids to just about everyone;
• They spend $52 billion every year on their grandkids alone;
• 62% provide financial support to their adult children and grandchildren (23% on daycare, 40% on housing – mortgage or rent, 21% on education, 70% on cash for day-to-day expenses, 24% on health care).

Many grandparents live under the same roof as their grandkids. Most grandparents report that they like to spend time with their grandchildren and some take care of their grandchildren:
• 72% take care of their grandchildren on a regular basis;
• 13% are primary caregivers;
• 60% live close to their grandchildren;
• 46% wish they could live even closer;
• 70% see the kids at least once a week;
• 66% travel with their grandkids;
• 81% have their grandkids for part or all of their summer vacation;
• 55% play video games with their grandchildren;
• 92% have changed their grandchild's diaper;
• 64% accompany their adult children or grandchildren to the doctor

Watching the development of grandchildren is just plain fun. For example, my three-year-old granddaughter recently asked her mother about bathroom functions. In response, my daughter explained that our bodies use the food we eat then gets rid of the rest. So, in a restaurant last week, my granddaughter looked at the lady sitting at the next table – a stranger – and very confidently stated, “My pizza’s gonna turn into poop.”

Grandparenting is indeed a blessing. The Bible says, “Children’s children are a crown to the aged…” (Proverbs 17:6a, NIV). And, I’ve always heard that you pay for your raising.

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