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Families have been undergoing a gradual yet unavoidable change over the past few decades. With the tendency to subvert stereotypes in the contemporary society, the roles within a family have also been altered (Cohen 17). The observed changes concern not only the reconsideration of gender normativity but also revisiting the role of grandparents in families. While previously, the elderly were typically relegated to a rather passive role with few interactions with children, modern grandparents tend to take the active part in the upbringing of children (Cohen 42). Due to the great scale that the observed phenomenon takes, changes on a legislative level have to be made to provide grandparents with opportunities to support their grandchildren financially.
Reasons for the Phenomenon to Exist
With the rapid rise in the importance of family values and bonding between family members, the role of grandparents in the lives of their children and grandchildren has become much greater than it used to be (Cohen 41). In addition to a shift in the understanding of family ties and roles of family members, economic issues have affected the degree to which grandparents engage in their grandchildren’s lives (Cohen 472).
Specifically, the scenario in which both parents have to work extra hours to pay the bills has become very common, which leaves grandparents to care for children and raise them (Cohen 472). Furthermore, the cultural aspect of the phenomenon needs to be addressed. Belonging to a different era, grandparents have a plethora of information, including memories, experiences, and knowledge, to share with children (Cohen 473). Thus, grandparents have started playing a vital role in kids’ upbringing.
Monetary Supplements for Grandparents
The effort that grandparents put into raising their grandchildren needs to be recognized and encouraged. Since caring about a child requires a substantial amount of resources, grandparents have to be offered financial support for their efforts. In addition, grandparents that raise their grandchildren need to have access to essential educational resources, including not only traditional ones such as libraries but also digital tools (Cohen 474).
Apart from offering greater flexibility in educating children, digital technology will give instant access to the support of online support centers. As a result, grandparents can consult with educators and child psychologists and ensure that their grandkids receive the support and care that they need.
Changes on the Local, Statewide, and National Levels
When considering local alterations, one will need to focus on creating resources for grandparents to sue when raising their grandchildren. These include centers for financial support, educational resources, nurses’ and psychologists’ consultations, digital services, and other means of support. In addition, grandparents need to have the constant access to child services in case instant support and assistance is needed. On a statewide level, one should consider introducing a policy that will allow providing the families with grandparents playing the role of parents with financial support. Particularly, one must issue a regulation that will make the provision of monetary supplements for grandparents raising kids obligatory.
Thus, the needs of both children and their guardians will be met. On a national level, the promotion of diversity in assisting grandparents upbringing their grandchildren must be enhanced. It will be crucial to ensure that the community, as well as local authorities, support both grandparents and children (Cohen 474). For this reason, the phenomenon in question has to be made public on a national level.
Children being raised by grandparents is becoming a common scenario in a range of families, especially the ones that are struggling economically. The identified trend has its advantages and disadvantages, yet the promotion of bonding between grandparents and children is an evidently positive change. However, to encourage successful upbringing, one has to provide grandparents with the necessary resources, including healthcare-related ones and educational ones. For this purpose, changes on a local, statewide, and national level are needed.
Cohen, Philip N. The Family Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change. 2nd ed., Norton, 2018.