5 Styles of Grandparenting


According to research conducted by two University of Chicago social scientists, there are five distinct styles of grandparenting.

The Formal provide special treats and indulgences for the grandchild, but they maintain clearly defined lines between “parenting” and “grandparenting.”

The Fun Seeker plays with the child and has a good time. The relationship is one in which “authority lines are irrelevant.”

The Surrogate Parent is found only among grandmothers, “when the young mother works and the grandmother assumes the actual responsibility for the child.”

The Reservoir of Family Wisdom. The grandfather who dispenses “special skills or resources.” The young parents are usually in a “subordinate position”—which they may or may not resent.

The Distant Figure. The grandparent who “emerges from the shadows on holidays and special ritual occasions” like “a somewhat intermittent St. Nicholas.”

Source: New York Times

Sue Fast
Sue Fast
Sue Fast is the editor of Island Parent, Grand and ’Tweens & Teens magazines. Her writing has also appeared in Canadian Living and Vancouver magazines, the Georgia Straight and Monday Magazine.

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