WMU News

Grandparents as parents face special holiday challenges

Dec. 4, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- For America's 2.4 million grandparents who are raising children, holiday shopping can prove especially challenging, says Dr. Linda S. Dannison, chairperson of WMU's Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

"Custodial grandparents wear two hats, and must ask if they should they give all their grandchildren gifts of similar value, and additional gifts to their custodial grandchildren," says Dannison.

Dannison co-directs a statewide project for the 175,372 Michigan children growing up in their grandparents' homes. That number is up 24.3 percent from 1990.

"It also can be difficult for grandparents to know where to shop and what to buy, especially if they are just beginning to parent their grandchildren. Holidays can be difficult and stressful times in terms of family politics, resources and history -- we want everything to be perfect and our expectations may not be realistic."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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