Little is known about step-grandparents, even though they’re increasingly common.
You count as a step-grandparent if your partner has biological grandchildren who aren’t yours. You also count as a step-grandparent if your adult child has step-kids.
According to an analysis published last year, we don’t even know how many American step-grandparents there are. The analysis concluded that among Americans ages 51 and older who identify as grandparents, about one-fifth are step-grandparents who’ve attained this status through a partner. But that fraction doesn’t include the step-grandparents who have their children to thank for the role, since the major national surveys don’t inquire about them.
And we know next to nothing about the experience of step-grandparenthood, which scholars have historically ignored.
If you’re a step-grandparent, would you be willing to tell me a little something about yourself by shooting an email to [email protected]? I may publish part or all of your note, so please indicate whether I can use your name.
Here are a few questions you might consider.
- What do your step-grandkids call you?
- How often do you see your step-grandkids, and are you close to them?
- If you also have biological grandkids, how do your relationships with the two types compare?
- What are the major challenges of step-grandparenthood?
- Do you keep in touch with any “former” step-grandkids? That is, if you “lost” your role as a step-grandparent either because your partnership or your child’s partnership ended, what happened to your relationships with the kids?