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Grandparents and their close relationship with grandchildren

Today, Philadelphia residents are aware that the roles of grandparents have changed. They are more attached to their grandchildren and some of them even step up in child custody disputes by exercising their grandparents' rights. Child custody disputes are sometimes settled by awarding visitation rights for grandparents, who have forged an unbreakable bond with their grandchildren.

In York, Pennsylvania, a single parent turned to her parents after an unfortunate event -- a car accident. Without her parents, she would have lost her 13-month-old son. The 69-year-old grandfather and his 68-year-old wife provided shelter and relief to their daughter and grandson.

According to a 2012 AARP survey conducted among 1,904 grandparents, grandparents are becoming more involved with their grandchildren by providing advice, financial assistance and care. In terms of financial support, many of today's grandparents help to pay medical, dental and education expenses.

Grandparents also provide daycare for their grandchildren when their parents are working. With this, many grandparents choose to live closer to their grandchildren. In some cases, grandparents also provide shelter for their grandchildren.

Grandchildren are often spoiled by their grandparents. Most of the survey's participants indicated that they spend at least $1,000 on their grandchildren annually. One grandmother from York Township built a bedroom for her granddaughter, complete with books and toys.

Given the closeness of grandparents with their grandchildren, readers may think that grandparents deserve a fair share of love from their grandchildren. Grandparents can instill values that are needed by the growing grandchildren. The grandparents' role in their grandchildren's lives should not be overlooked. This is the main reason why grandparents' rights were established. Grandparents' rights enable them to obtain custody and visitation if it is determined that it is in the best interests of the child.

Grandparents may exercise their rights, especially in cases of unfit parents, for the benefit of the children involved.

Source: The Republic, "In Pennsylvania, families turning to grandparents for care of grandchildren," Ashley May, May 18, 2013

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