A grandmother and her granddaughter graduate side by side

Every day, I read what other journalists are writing about grandparents and their families. Here are some stories that gripped me recently.

College graduation is family affair for Tallahassee grandmother and granddaughter

Cathy Williams, 62, and her granddaughter, Chelsea Washington, both earned bachelor’s degrees this spring from the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee.

Cathy, a former state government worker, majored in political science and now plans to earn a master’s degree in either public administration or business.

Chelsea majored in biology and is headed for medical school at Howard University. She plans to be a pediatrician.

Her grandmother’s “drive for success” has motivated her to be ambitious, too, she says.

WTXL • May 3, 2015

Vacations that aim to turn cousins into friends

More and more extended families are vacationing together, and, increasingly, they’re choosing rental houses over hotels.

“Sharing a vacation-rental home affords more casual togetherness than most hotels. On a deeper level, many families are striving for the cousin effect—the emotional and social benefits children can gain from close ties with family members their own age.”

The Wall Street Journal • May 19, 2015

A family affair: Hilton Head grandparents host grandchildren for yearly summer camp

Linda Haviland with her grandchildren. Photo from Facebook.

Linda Haviland with her grandchildren. Photo from Facebook.

Every year, Linda and Bill Haviland of Hilton Head, S.C., run an action-packed overnight camp for their 11 grandchildren from Memorial Day through July 4th.

“We keep it simple, but we keep them busy,” Linda says. “My husband taught all the kids to swim.”

The children’s parents are not allowed to visit during the camp, but they come for a big family party at the end.

The Island Packet • May 20, 2015


“It’s so hard,” says Robin Richard of Raynham, Mass., who’s raising her grandson because her daughter is addicted to heroin.

“My husband is 56; I’m 50. I work full time, he’s trying to run a business, and we have a 4-year-old.”

“But we’re not stopping our lives because of him. We’re doing this with him. He’s well adjusted, he’s a funny kid, and I love him.”

Robin’s daughter, who’s been sober for a few months and lives in a halfway house in Florida, says being separated from her son is “like having your heart ripped out of your chest and getting stomped on every day.”

But, she says, “I can’t be there for him until I can be there for myself.”

The Boston Globe • May 1, 2015

Grandparenting 101 for Baby Boomers

“Becoming a grandparent for the first time is like revisiting an exotic country that you loved long ago, only to find that everything’s changed—the layout, the customs, even the language. The experience is just as wonderful as ever, but it takes a while to get your bearings.”

The Washington Post • May 7, 2015

China’s left-behind children

Unable to afford daycare, Chinese immigrants are sending their American-born children back home, where they’re being raised by their grandparents until they’re eligible for kindergarten in the United States.

“My heart really goes out to these kids,” says Huizhen Jiang, who runs a private kindergarten in China’s Fujian province that enrolls mostly American students. “But parents need to make money in order to let them have a better future.”

PBS NewsHour • May 21, 2015


More and more American parents are turning to grandparents for help supporting their kids, and a new study by the Pew Research Center helps explain why: Grandparents are getting wealthier, while parents are getting poorer.

The study also found that 20 percent of American grandparents communicate with their grandchildren daily, while another 40 percent are in touch with them weekly.

Pew Research Center • May 21, 2015