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The Bible presents many cases of multi-generational family living arrangements that benefited each generation in different ways. But in our contemporary world, Christian families face many challenges when sandwiched between their parents and their children.
The Sandwich Generation
Publication Date:
3/31/2010
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Parenting Study
Product Number:
TC8033

The month of July is "Sandwich Generation Month," but not everyone in the middle feels like celebrating.

The Pew Research Center reports that one of eight Americans ages forty to sixty is raising a child while caring for a parent. Over seven million adults are caring long distance for aging parents. Add to that a growing number of people who are parenting adult children, aging parents, and grandchildren, and you can begin to understand the challenges faced by the "sandwich" generation.

In the mid-twentieth century, generations of families frequently lived near one another. That type of gathered family is no longer the norm as siblings of aging parents are often geographically scattered. Challenging family dynamics are further affected by longer life spans, demanding careers, children leaving the nest at a later age, children returning to the nest, blended families, single parenting, and an economy that just makes everything more difficult.

Whether an adult is sandwiched between parents and children for reasons of geography, financial resources, loving devotion, or guilt, successfully navigating this life phase can be difficult.

In this study for adults we'll discuss a number of issues that should be help to enable multiple generations to coexist safely, securely, and in a loving environment. Tips for discussing your concerns with your children are included, as are questions for group discussion to encourage participants to share their own experiences and to offer one another advice and support. In addition to a healthy dose of practical advice, this study also includes questions for reflection to help parents make peace with the responsibilities they've taken on.

Faye Burdick is an elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a retired editor. She edited The Roots of Youth Ministry series and God's Plan for Growing Up resources.


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