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Heartwarming “grand-mates” trend is the sweetest thing

grandma, granddaughter, teen, girl, woman, hug, smile

fizkes | Shutterstock

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 11/10/22

Moving in with grandparents helps young adults save on rent and leads to intergenerational bonding.

What’s a young adult to do when rent is too high, but moving in with Mom and Dad sounds like a drag?

For a growing number of young Americans, the answer is to move in with Grandma and Grandpa as roommates.

This new “grand-mates” trend is bringing about some truly heartwarming intergenerational bonding. 

The New York Timesprofiled a number of families who are “grand-mates,” and not one of them had complaints about it. The worst thing they could say was that sometimes the grandchildren weren’t as tidy as their grandparents would like. But there’s an easy solution: One grandma said, “I just keep the door to [my granddaughter’s] room closed.”

Instead, the trend has been a wonderful boon to both the grandparents and grandchildren. Grandparents enjoy their grandchildren’s energy and companionship, not to mention some friendly youthful assistance with tasks like doctor visits and online shopping.

Meanwhile, the grandchildren enjoy their grandparents’ stories and recipes, not to mention a welcoming home at little or no cost for the rent! It’s a win-win situation all around.

Many grandkids find it easier and more pleasant to live with their grandparents than their parents. As the old joke says, “The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.” 

While that’s hopefully not true for most families, it is true that there is usually something easier and more relaxed about the grandparent-grandchild relationship than the parent-child relationship. As a result, many young adults find Abuelo and Abuela easier to live with than Mom and Dad. According to The New York Times,

Once the grandchildren are older … “skipped-generation” relationships are stronger because the grandchildren and grandparents can approach each other as individuals. Grandparents, in this instance, aren’t seen as authority figures, and grandchildren aren’t viewed by Grandma and Grandpa as tots needing guidance and a lecture or three.

The grandparent-grandchild relationship is less complicated, and maybe that’s why “grand-mates” are becoming so popular.

No doubt Pope Francis would be a fan of this trend if he knew about it. A major theme of his pontificate has been pushing for more considerate and dignified treatment of elderly people. To this end, he instituted the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly every year on July 24. 

So we bet he’d cheer for the “grand-mates” trend, and really, what’s not to love? The special bond this trend fosters between the generations is a beautiful thing to see. 

Here’s hoping this positive and heartwarming housing trend catches on with more families!

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