GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 14

intergenerational living

Why I invited
"the grandparents"
to move In
BY LEONARD SAX, M.D.

I

have been a family doctor for 29 years. I have learned some things about
families. One of the things I have learned is that kids benefit when they
grow up with strong bonds across the generations: not just with their
parents, but with their grandparents, and with aunts and uncles as well.
That's not just my opinion. I've written four books for parents over the
past 14 years: Why Gender Matters, Boys Adrift, Girls on the Edge, and
The Collapse of Parenting, which became a New York Times bestseller. In
researching those books, I consulted with comparative anthropologists,
people who have spent their professional lives studying how other people
have lived in other times. I asked them if there is anything that all enduring cultures have in common? If you ask that question in terms of what
people eat, or how they dress, or what their religious beliefs are, then the
answer is "No." Cultures vary enormously from one to the next. But there
is one thing that all enduring cultures share: they all have strong bonds
across generations.
American culture used to be characterized by strong bonds across generations, but no longer. That's not nostalgia. Careful scholars, like Robert
Putnam at Harvard, have documented how strong the bonds across generations were in the United States 50 years ago, and how weak those
bonds are today. Fifty years ago, even thirty years ago, it was common for
a grandfather and grandson to work under the hood of a car together, or
for a grandmother and a granddaughter to do a sewing project together.
Today such activities are much less common, as Putnam and others have
documented.

14 GRAND

MAY JUNE 2018

Continued on next page


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GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018

Contents
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 1
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 2
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 3
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - July/August 2018 - 5
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