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The Influence of Grandparents on a Child's Education

Amy Adamle
Updated: September 14, 2018 10:19 AM

Grandparents play an important role in a child's life and they often can have a big impact on their education. 

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Angela Rosenberg Hauger, a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Program in Gerontology, the study of aging, at the College of St. Scholastica shared how they can help their grandchildren adjust to being back in school. 

Hauger said the impact grandparents can have on their grandchildren depends on a lot of factors including how far they live from each other.

Two and a half million grandparents in the United States are raising their grandchildren in the absence of the children's parents, which translates into about eight million children, according to Hauger.

"Often these people aren't really expecting to be raising children in their middle or later years," Hauger said.  "We've coined a phrase, grandfamilies, to describe these situations."

When grandparents are raising their grandchildren, they do most things like parents would, Hauger said.

"It's really important for them to get support, so we recommend that they look toward their local schools, ask if there is any support for grandparents raising their grandchildren," Hauger said.  

She also recommends finding books that may help or using resources like aarp.org and grandfamilies.org.

For grandparents who live close, but might not see their grandchild everyday Hauger said they can help with transportation, homework, supplies, or shopping. 

"These first weeks it's important to have some relaxing and fun activities, so maybe evenings and weekends, and that helps the parents too," Hauger said.  

Grandparents also often have a special bond with their grandchildren.  

"Grandparents can be more lenient, they have a little more time, so just listening, spending time with the child and listening, can be very reassuring," Hauger said.  

For grandparents that live far away, with today's technology, they can still be involved and supportive.

"Facetiming, Skyping, texting, all those kinds of things are helpful," Hauger said.  "Sending children back to school is expensive, so they can always send a little money."

Credits

Amy Adamle

Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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