Stories of grandparents raising grandchildren

Austine Smith June 20, 2019

Reviewing the reasons triggering the Grandparent Effect

Stories of grandparents raising grandchildren


As grandparents today are wealthier, healthier, and live much longer than they would have a few decades ago, the Grandparent Effect has become visible across the world. This refers to grandparents raising grandchildren. In the U.S., the proportion of children living with their grandparents has increased by 7% in the past five years alone, says a 2018 article in The Atlantic. This rise was attributed by many to the opioid epidemic.

Stories of people raised by their grandparents

The phenomenon isn’t a recent trend because in the past too, grandparents have often chipped in to raise their grandchildren and provide them with a safer home as well as unconditional love and support when their parents couldn’t or failed to. Those interested in grandparents raising grandchildren stories can find some in the lives of famous persons. Carol Burnett, Maya Angelou, and two former U.S. presidents namely Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are some who were raised by their grandparents for at least a part of their childhood.

Reasons that trigger the phenomenon of grandparents raising grandchildren

From a parent’s death to a parent’s (or at times, both parents’) addiction or mental illness, the reasons that force grandparents to step in as the surrogate parents of their grandchildren could be varied. Sometimes, an unstable home environment due to violence between the parents too could make the elderly decide to raise their grandchildren. The goal is always to give the kids love, security, a feeling of belonging, and permanence while keeping them shielded from fear, trauma, isolation, and loss. However, grandparents who raise the kids often have a tough journey ahead of them due to their own health and financial problems, more so as they don’t get any legal or financial support for such unexpected responsibilities that they haven’t prepared for.


Call to action:

What’re some other reasons that you think might be triggering the Grandparent Effect? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads to keep the conversation going. To enjoy a couple of interesting reads, be sure to check out my books.




Kasdin, Karin. “Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: ‘Twice The Stress Of Average Parents’.” HuffPost, Updated April 13, 2012. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/when-grandparents-raise-grandchildren_b_1267476

Henig, Marantz Robin. “The Age of Grandparents Is Made of Many Tragedies.” The Atlantic, June 1, 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/06/this-is-the-age-of-grandparents/561527/


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Austine Royer Smith

Austine Royer Smith is a missionary who founded Ruth 2:7/ Foundling House Ministries in Haiti. She is an autho . . .

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