Recognising the diversity of grandparenting experiences, the Families Commission decided that in order to focus its advocacy role, further information was required about how grandparents manage their grandparenting.
Based upon 1176 respondents to a telephone survey and the 2009 UMR Omnibus survey, the report paints an intricate picture of grandparents’ lives, views, and needs.
Overall the research shows that for most grandparents in this study the pleasures of grandparenting outweighed the pressures. Grandparents spoke of the pleasurable experiences of nurturing and observing grandchildren’s development, sharing happy times and passing on skills, knowledge and wisdom to the next generation. But for some, grandparenting places considerable strain on their own time, energy and resources. Grandparents need to be aware of, and confident about, identifying their own priorities and developing and negotiating solutions and compromises that will work best for them and their family. Support from others might be needed to do so, particularly during times of transition and where conflict exists within the family.
This report was produced for the Families Commission by Dr Roberta Hill and Ken Wilson (WEB Research), Dr Cherryl Smith, Bobby Newson, Karen Stewart, Hong-Jae Park, Liz Tanielu, Rosetta Iupeli and Anne Kerslake Hendricks.
Two pieces of research carried out by UMR for the Families Commission contributed to this report: Changing roles of grandparents (a report based on a nationwide telephone survey of 1,178 grandparents) and Questions in the June 2009 Omnibus Survey about the age of becoming a grandparent.