Grandparents Raising My Baby
Statistics are showing that grandparents are much more involved in raising babies in the USA than ever before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of children who live with at least one grandparent increased for 64% from 1991 to 2011. In other words, the number of children living with a grandparent in the USA jumped from 4.7 million to 7.8 million in the last two decades.
Grandparents helping out in child raising is nothing new and more than three quarters of 7.8 million children who live with a grandparent also live with at least one parent. This means that grandparents did not took over the role of a parent in most cases. In addition, the Census did not keep track on multi-generational families in the past. Nevertheless, the rise of the number of children living with a grandparent speaks for itself. Grandparents in the USA without a doubt started to play more active role in child raising although the statistics also show that there is a rise of single parent families which most often consist of a mother and one or more children.
Interestingly, Caucasian children account for the smallest percentage of all children in the USA who live with at least one grandparent or with one parent alone but they have shown a bigger increase than Hispanic and African-American children. From 1991 to 2011, the number of Caucasian kids living with at least one grandparent almost doubled, while the percentage of Hispanic and African-American grandparents playing an active role in child raising only slightly increased.
There are multiple reasons for grandparents becoming more involved in child raising in the USA. Some researchers believe that it is most likely a result of the current economic situation in the country leaving grandparents financially more stable than parents. The statistics of the Census show that most American grandparents who play an active role in raising children are younger than 60 years of age, however, most of them have a substantial and steady income. And considering that children are amongst other a great financial responsibility too, grandparents can do a lot to help financially both directly or indirectly. For example, by looking after children when their parents are at work they enable them to save a lot of money on day care and nannies.
Another reason for the American grandparents becoming much more involved in child raising may also be related to the increase of teen pregnancy in the USA. The country does not only have the highest teenage birth rate among the developed countries but also saw a rise of teen mothers in the few recent years. And since most teen mothers still go to school and are financially unable to take care for themselves and much less for their babies, their parents often do not have much choice other than becoming involved in child raising if they want to prevent their grandchildren from ending up in foster homes or living in poverty.
I am a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. I have written two successful books, hundreds of medical articles for trade publications, a consumer magazine, a legal publication and a private foundation. I am honored to serve as a peer reviewer for Baby Lifetime. Check me out at Google