Young Adult Grandchildren Moving In With Grandparents: What A Joy!

When our oldest grandson was getting ready to leave for college at University of Pennsylvania, I invented an elaborate ruse that I had rented an apartment in downtown Philadelphia, and he could come for dinner with his friends, do his laundry, and even have a quiet place to study. He believed me and the look on his face was priceless. I do not think he believed that I was teasing him.

Now, there is a concept called “skipped generation households.” This grandma loves it, and apparently so do the grandparents whose photos appear in the article, “Grand-mates: Generations Sharing A Special Bond (and Sometimes the Rent), by Joanne Kauffman, New York Times, September 30, 2022. Their smiles could not be bigger.  The author cited a recent survey:

“According to a recent survey by Credit Karma, a personal finance platform, nearly a third of Americans from 18 to 25 live at home with their parents or other relatives. “We’re hearing more and more about adult grandchildren living with grandparents,” said Donna Butts, the executive director of Generations United, a nonprofit based in Washington that promotes programs and policies that connect generations.”

Why shouldn’t this arrangement be the best for both grandchild and grandparent! We grandparents may have a guest room in an area nicer than the grandchild could afford and a location more convenient for their school or first jobs. If one is an involved grandparent, the grandchild has a long, close history with the grandparent. As the mantra for this blog, we grandparents are all joy and no responsibility. We do not want to parent our grandchildren. It was enough work raising the parents of our grandchildren. But to experience living with an adult grandchild is the joy.

With long years behind us, we have a sense of calm and perspective—grandchildren listen to us more than to their parents. Our grandson at Penn was not going to join the family back home for holiday celebration when his mother asked. I did not even have to remind him of the importance of traditions and rituals, I just said I would love the opportunity to be with him for the holiday. He changed his mind and studied at home before and after the family dinner. His mother now says if she wants him to do anything she will ask me to ask him.

I have always depended on my grandchildren to take care of certain things I find difficult—the television remote control, and really, all my electronics. Even the eleven year old has more skills on my IPhone than I do. It would be wonderful to have a live in electronics specialist. And, what I learn each time from the grandchildren is wonderful. They are not afraid to press buttons.

But, most of all, the love between grandparents and grandchildren is beyond description, and I have tried to describe it. As a child of Holocaust survivors, I never had the experience of the unconditional love and support of grandparents. Now that I am able to provide that for my six grandchildren I am overjoyed. Whatever they need I am there. I tell each of them that I love them to infinity and beyond, and I will always be in their heart.

We don’t need a new name for it or a scientific concept. it is definitely a win-win to have young adult grandchildren living with grandparents. Part time is okay too. Or just being near if they need anything or I do. Maybe I should reconsider an apartment in Philadelphia.  Just thinking about the possibility brings



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