Grandparents Day has officially been around since 1979, when former President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. September was chosen because it’s thought to signify the “autumn” years of life. This year, the special day is Sept. 9.
The case for Grandparents Day started in 1970 when Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade began her campaign to honor grandparents.
The celebratory day has three purposes: To honor grandparents; to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children; and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.
Here are a few ideas to honor grandparents, and other elders in our lives, every day:
Ideas for older adults
Pay it forward by sharing your wisdom, perspectives, and key civic values with the young people in your life. Reach out to policymakers and the media to make a difference for all children and youth in your community, state, or even nationwide.
Ideas for children, youth, and young adults
Reach out to policymakers and begin one of the most important dialogues in our history: discussing how, as a country, we can address the many challenges — such as literacy, health and wellness, and financial stability — which future generations face.
Grandfamilies are families headed by grandparents and other relatives who share their homes with their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and/or other related children. More than 7.8 million children across the country live in households headed by grandparents or other relatives. Official proclamations from your governor, mayor, county executive, or other official are wonderful ways to honor grandfamilies. You can also pay tribute through events to raise awareness.
Plan and coordinate intergenerational activism projects. Create opportunities for older adults and youth in your community to come together and learn about important civic values, and then reach out to policymakers and the media to make a difference for all children and youth.