What about letting a perfect stranger stand in, just so your kids can have a grandparent?
A growing number of parents are doing just that. They’re setting up personal ads; only instead of “SBF seeks SM for long walks on the beach, non-smoking, non-freaks” they’re advertising for older folks who have been aching for a youngster to play with.
Matthew Gray, deputy director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, says it’s largely distance and family breakdowns keeping kids and grandparents apart, but also playing a major role are the parents who have put off babymaking. The older first-time parents are, the older their own parents are – leaving grandchild-hungry parents waiting, and sometimes leaving first-time parents without their own Mom and Dad when they’re finally ready to start having children.
But parents are no less interested in exposing their kids to another generation, and those who live far away from their own parents still need the extra hand that a grandparent who is nearby is often willing to offer. Hence the advertising.
“I’ve got two small children now and my father lives away from us and
my partner’s mother is not very involved,” Debbie Fitzsimmons told Australia’s Daily Telegraph. “I grew up with two sets of grandparents which I benefited
from big time.”
Other parents say the process is equally beneficial to the surrogate grandparents; after all, being with the young is said to keep you young. For older folks who don’t have family nearby, simply having a young family around to check up on them can go far in helping them maintain mental acuity and a connection with the outside world. In turn, the kids learn the importance of community and caring for our geriatric population – besides the stories of days gone by and the candies palmed when Mom isn’t looking.
Would you consider adopting a grandparent or letting one adopt you so your kids can have that experience?