Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Grandparent Shares Story Behind the Statistics

August 22, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Your article on grandparents raising grandchildren prompted me to write in an effort to give those staggering numbers a very real face (“Grandparents Increasingly Getting Involved in Education,” Aug. 10, 2011). My granddaughter is a statistic. She is one of the millions of children being raised by a grandparent or other relative because her parents are unable to. One of the children who have to look at the “Magnificent Moms” bulletin board for the month of May. One who will not be bringing a dad to the “Dads and Donuts Day.” How do those children feel? Sad? Probably. Angry? Sometimes. Confused? Without a doubt.

I remember the day I first saw that confused look on my granddaughter’s tiny face. We were reading a book together, a story about a mommy and her baby bunny looking out the window, waiting for the daddy to come home. My granddaughter sat for a moment, processing the scene in her 2-year-old mind, trying to relate it to her own world. A look of innocent confusion crossed her face. Our different kind of story was nowhere to be found in any of the books in the library or bookstores. It was a story that needed to be told. A story teachers, coaches, and Scout leaders need to hear, that young friends on the playground need to hear—and that the children being raised by grandparents need to hear.

Yesterday’s standards of a family—one mother, one father, and 2.5 children—have changed drastically. Variations of the stereotypical nuclear family show us there are lots of ways families can work. What makes them work is love and caring. And lots of times, Grandma and Grandpa.

Gayle Byrne
Killingworth, Conn.
Ms. Byrne is the author of
Sometimes It’s Grandmas and Grandpas, Not Mommies and Daddies.

A version of this article appeared in the August 24, 2011 edition of Education Week as Grandparent Shares Story Behind the Statistics

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read