Posts Tagged ‘ grandparents ’

Parenting ‘Refresher’ Course May Help Caregiving Grandparents

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Grandparents who are asked to step in and play a major role in caring for their grandchildren are benefiting from a communication education program in Australia that aims to refresh their memories when it comes to fostering healthy, open relationships with children.  More on the program, which is also showing positive changes trickling down to parents, from Reuters:

Researchers found families who had been through the program, designed to encourage better communication between generations and give grandparents a parenting “refresher” course, reported fewer behavior problems among children.

“The main reason we wanted to focus on grandparents is that there still aren’t that many parents getting involved with parenting programs,” James Kirby, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health.

That means children aren’t benefiting from the techniques taught in those programs, Kirby said. He is a research fellow at the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.

“Going through a channel such as grandparents is another way,” he said.

That’s because many older people provide some amount of care for their grandchildren.

The new program is an adaptation of the existing Triple P-Positive Parenting Program, which has existed for about 30 years. The version for grandparents lasts nine weeks and consists of seven group and two phone sessions.

The sessions focus on parenting, the relationship between grandparents and parents and unhelpful emotions – such as anxiety, stress and anger. The program takes about 15 hours to complete.

Image: Grandparents and child, via Shutterstock

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Census Data: Fathers Becoming More Involved in Child Care

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

In families where mothers are in the workforce, 32 percent of fathers are regular sources of child care, and one in five fathers are the primary source of child care, a new study released by the Census Bureau has found.  The report, a series of tables called “Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2010,” tracked a typical week, during which 61 percent of all American children under age 5 had some kind of child care arrangement.

The changing economy accounts for some of the heightened involvement of fathers, researchers say.

“A recession may force families to adjust their child care arrangements, “ Lynda Laughlin, a family demographer at the Census Bureau, said in a statement. “It can trigger unemployment or changes in work hours, thus increasing the availability of fathers to provide child care. It also can reduce available income to pay for child care outside of the home.”

Other highlights from the report include:

  • In households with working moms, family members continue to serve as an important source of child care for preschoolers. In spring of 2010, 30 percent of preschoolers were regularly cared for by their grandparents, 29 percent were cared for by their fathers, and 12 percent received care from a sibling or other relative.
  • Preschoolers with employed black and Hispanic mothers were more likely to be cared for by their grandparents than their fathers. Twenty-nine percent of black preschoolers were cared for by their grandparents, while a quarter (22 percent) were cared for by their fathers. A third of Hispanic preschoolers were regularly taken care of by their grandparent, compared with 29 percent who received care from their fathers.
  • Among preschoolers of employed non-Hispanic white mothers, 30 percent were cared for by their fathers and 29 percent were cared for by their grandparents.
  • Of the 21 million mothers who were employed in the spring of 2010, one-third reported they paid for child care for at least one of their children.
  • Families with an employed mother and children younger than 15 paid an average of $138 per week for child care in 2010, up from $81 in 1985 (in constant 2010 dollars), the first year that these data were collected.

Image: Father playing with his child, via Shutterstock.

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Trend: Grandparents More Active in Grandkids’ Lives

Friday, August 26th, 2011

The slow economy and growing number of active, healthy retirees from the Baby Boom generation mean that more grandparents are taking an active role in their grandchildren’s lives, according to new census data released this week.

The Associated Press reports on the trend, stating that 5.8 million children, or nearly 8 percent of all children, are living with grandparents identified as the head of household.  In 2000, 4.5 million, or 6.3 percent of all children, lived under those arrangements.

The Baby Boomers have swelled the number of grandparents as well.  The data shows that there are currently 62.8 million grandparents in the U.S., the most ever. They are projected to make up roughly 1 in 3 adults by 2020.  From the AP:

These grandparents reject living in senior communities in favor of “aging in place” in their own homes, near family. In 2009, households ages 55 or older spent billions of dollars on infant food, clothes, toys, games, tuition and supplies for grandchildren, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Grandparents are supposed to be old, gray-haired people tottering around, but the vast majority are actually in the work force,” said Francese, who released a paper on the topic last month. “There is not much doubt that the recent recession has brought grandparents and grandchildren together.”

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Study: Grandparents Keep Kids Safer in the Car

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Grandparents-RightsA study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics has found that grandparent drivers are generally safer with child passengers, safer even than the kids’ own parents.  The study found that children who were involved in accidents where a grandparent was driving were at half the risk of injury as compared to those whose parents were driving the car.

Fred M. Henretig, the study’s lead researcher and a pediatrician and emergency room physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia told

“My hypothesis setting out was that grandparents may be putting their grandchildren at higher risk in crashes,” Henretig said, citing a range of factors from older cars and inadequately installed car seats to a general decline in driving ability.

But only about .7 percent of kids riding with grandparents were hurt, compared with 1.05 percent of kids riding with parents, a reduction of risk of about 33 percent. That rose to 50 percent when factors such as age, restraint use and crash characteristics were considered.

“Lo and behold, it turns out kids are only getting injured half as often,” Henretig said.

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