Grand-mates: Generations Living Together Sharing A Special Bond
Robert narrates the story of a year ago when Madeline finally came to stay with them. Robert started noticing new types of beverages in his refrigerator that he shared with her wife. The beverages were different types of coffee; some energy drinks and others milk. The almond milk was Madeline’s favorite, and she used to have it often. She just began graduate work in the Climate School at Columbia University.
The good news was that Madeline got accepted into the program, but her parents told Robert that she was having problems adjusting to the room. Listening to this, Robert decided to offer help. They had an extra room, so they offered her parents that Madeline could stay with them if she wanted. Nearly six decades apart, they became “grand mates” due to the age difference.
A recent survey carried out by Credit Karma, which is a personal finance platform, revealed that nearly a third of Americans between the age of 18 to 25 share homes with their parents or relatives. Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United in Washington, promotes policies and programs to connect generations. Grandparents are stepping into the lives of their grandchildren again, just as they did when their grandchildren were little.
With the increasing costs and rising inflation, it has become difficult for most students to manage their expenses. Some students who travel to another city or stay away from home choose to live on campus or look for hostels that are near their educational institutes. However, most of the time, they don’t like their accommodations and feel homesick. This is where grandparents can step in. If grandparents stay near the university campus, grandchildren prefer living with their grandparents. Students can also save on rent this way. However, some students may choose to pay the rent just to contribute to the expenses.
According to research, about 10% of black children lived in skipped-generation households at some point in their life from birth to age 18. The numbers were lower among Asian, Latino, and white children. However, due to the pandemic, the number has grown. Ms. Butts said skipped-generation relationships tend to be stronger as grandparents and grandchildren see each other as equal individuals who don’t have any authority over each other.
Grandchildren don’t feel like lecturing their grandchildren at this point in their lives, while the grandchildren know that their grandparents are their friends whom they can reach out to for advice if they get in any trouble. Dr. Gail Salts, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the New York Hospital, says that the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is less fraught. There are no strings attached to this relationship. Hence, the younger generation has a growing interest in living with their grandparents.
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