Multi-Generational Families and the Covid 19 Pandemic
The Covid 19 pandemic has impacted every family, and every family differently. So too has it affected grandparents. Since the onset of the pandemic, the Jewish Grandparents Network has gathered significant anecdotal information about how the crisis has impacted intergenerational relationships and the roles that grandparents play in their grandchildren’s lives. We are seeing both centripetal and centrifugal forces; Grandparents are playing enhanced, often essential roles in childcare and remote education programs. Parents and their children are moving into their grandparents’ homes, often for months at a time. Conversely, many grandparents have not seen their family members in over a half year. Grandparents tell us with sadness that they have yet to meet new grandchildren born in the last six months.
The 2018 National Study of Jewish Grandparents revealed important data about the roles that grandparents play in their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. The study provides a number of important “pre-Covid-19 reference points. For instance, before the Covid19 pandemic, close to one half (47%) of grandparents who lived within an hour of their grandchildren saw them once a week. Three quarters (73%) of grandparents who lived within an hour of their grandchildren were providing childcare, sleepover childcare, and transportation services for their grandkids on a regular or as-needed basis. Conversely, before the Covid 19 pandemic, half of grandparents (47%) reported that they had not communicated with their grandchildren by video teleconferencing in the past year.
Understanding how these statistics have shifted since the onset of the pandemic will better position our organization and others to provide support and resources to multi-generational families.
Thus, we are asking grandparents and parents to help us with two research initiatives:
- We invite grandparents to take a five-minute survey to help us learn more about how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their roles and their relationships with their children and grandchildren. We will share the findings in the weeks ahead. Please click HERE to access the survey.
- To better understand intergenerational family dynamics from the perspective of the “middle generation” (parents of young children who with living parents or in-laws), the Jewish Grandparents Network will be conducting a series of focus groups. Participants should be between the ages of 21 and 50 years and have children living at home under the age of 18. Please click HERE link below if you are interested in being a participant. If you would like to recommend individuals to participate please contact Christopher@jewishgrandparentsnetwork.org