First we flooded the baby market. Now we’re boomer grandparents.
We are more active than our own grandparents were. We’ve lived long enough and seen enough prosperity to provide more stability than generations past.
“Persons born in the first half of the time span, approximately 1945-1955, are sometimes known as early boomers. Those born after 1955 are sometimes called late boomers. Many observers have noted that the baby boom generation is far from monolithic. Indeed there are significant differences between the early boomers and the late boomers, especially those late boomers born in the 1960s.
Boomers have witnessed many historic events, including the civil rights movement leading to the desegregation of public schools, the rise of feminism and the Vietnam War with its accompanying anti-war movement. They were the first to grow up with television a part of their daily lives.
Since the average age of becoming a grandparent is around 47, even the youngest members of the baby boom generation are old enough to be grandparents, turning the baby boom into the grandparent boom.
Generally baby boomers make active and involved grandparents. Many boomers, especially the earlier ones, grew up in a time of prosperity and easily surpassed the earning power and net worth of their parents. They saw airfare become affordable, enabling many to travel extensively. Many have had the knowledge and the tools to stay physically fit and healthy.”
Boomer grandparents are healthier than previous generations. Imagine your grandma doing Yoga. Parents of baby boomers lived in post-war prosperity. But that also brought with it a few deadly vices.
Cigarettes were part of a fashion statement. A drink in one hand with a cigarette in the other was considered sophisticated. That was the era of Dean Martin.
There was one other very distinguishing mark. At least in my family, and those I observed. There was a strong divide between the world of children and the world of adults.
Children were expected to be seen and not heard.
Because much of our own rebellion came out of the non-communicative parenting styles of the 1950s and 1960s, many of us baby boomers took the opposite route. Open lines of communication with our kids were the general rule.
In many ways, the boomer grandparents are taking the role of grandparenting more serious than our parents did. We called it “the generation gap.”
Just as when we boomers were raising our own kids our lines of communication were open, that’s how many of us see our grandparenting role.
Grandparents with a vision to strengthen family bonds, have the health and stamina to help with raising children, and pass on family values–just might bring some healing to the culture.