Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Laura Casey on Boomers

This is an article from the Bay Area Contra Costa Times. I copied it from my sidebar where I get a steady flow of news and tidbits about boomer grandparents.

Baby boomers: A new kind of grandparentBy Laura Casey
Article Launched: 06/03/2008 08:35:16 PM PDT

Baby boomer grandparents are "the new grandparents," a generation of men and women who are more likely than those of earlier generations to travel with their grandchildren and take an active role in their grandchildren's day-to-day lives, experts at a baby boomer convention in San Francisco said Tuesday.

The two-day Livewire convention, geared toward marketing professionals interested in capturing the interests of the baby boomer crowd, attracted writers and dot-com professionals, videographers and boomers themselves.

While speakers focused on everything from Latino boomers, the tech habits of the boomer generation and health, a big draw talk about boomer grandparents, led by novelist Wendy Reid Crisp, who now acts as editor in chief of GRAND Magazine, a publication focused solely on grandparents and their grandchildren.

Before modern medicine and "the greatest generation," people who grew up in and lived through World War II, there were no large populations of grandparents, Crisp said.

"So the baby boomers are, essentially, only the second group to become grandparents," she said.
As boomers helped change the course of American history by demanding reproductive rights, equal-opportunity voting rights and education for women, they will also change the way grandparents relate to their grandchildren, she says."Boomer's attitudes are 'We're going to do what we're going to do and it's going to be better,'" Crisp said.

Among the points Crisp made were:

There are currently 80 million grandparents in the U.S. today. By 2012 there will be 115 million.
Nearly 20 percent of all travel involves grandchildren with grandparents, with or without the grandchildren's parents.

Boomer grandparents want to leave a legacy, either of wealth, education or shared interests.
Many of boomers' purchases are influenced by their grandchildren.

Unlike a parent who is likely busy shuffling kids to school, day care and sports activities before and after work, boomer grandparents have the time to "become a special part of the lives of the grandchildren," Crisp said. "We are in the fray, guiding, teaching and taking the time to point out the water skeeters in the river."

It is not all rosy. Boomer grandparents are more likely than older generations to raise their grandchildren and, for the first time in many generations, grandparents are heading multiple-family households as their Generation X offspring suffer from foreclosures and distressed sales homes and widespread layoffs.

A panel discussion of five baby boomer grandmothers followed Crisp's talk. Each grandmother said they are more active with their grandchildren than their own grandparents were. They also consider their grandchildren when doing everyday shopping.

Among them was Alameda resident and panelist Laurelyn Coleman, who has four grandchildren, and said, "I don't think I ever go in a store, even a grocery store, without thinking about my grandkids."

Reach writer Laura Casey at 925-952-2697 or e-mail


Wendy Reid Crisp said...

How cool to see my speech (or, rather, the publicity on my speech) in your blog!

We've started a new feature in GRAND magazine (beginning in July August issue which we're just closing) ... grandbloggers: the best of the grandmothers who blog...with links, excerpts, photos, etc.

You guys rock.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure we'll be traveling much with our grandchildren (expenses and all), but we will definitely try to be a major part of our grandchildren's lives! Thanks for sharing this article.

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