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Role Of Asian Grandparents Essay

1013 words - 5 pages

To make one generalization about Asian grandparents pertaining to traditions and customs is impossible. Traditions vary significantly from country to country. Many customs remain in Asian immigrant families, but some are replaced as the immigrants are assimilated into their adopted cultures. To study psychological phenomena cross-culturally it is crucial to understand different family cultures throughout the world, and how these families relate to cultural features of societies. The older generation is vital in carrying on cultural features. Grandparents play numerous roles in the lives of their grandchildren, spoil, provide attention, and shower their grandchildren with gifts. Nevertheless, the most important roles of a grandparent go beyond the perks. Their most essential role they play is family historians, role models, and mentors. They provide a connection to history, importance of cultural legacy, identity of the family and oneself.
In Japan and China, grandparents are very useful members in the household and help relieve a lot of stress from the parents. They are active in household errands as well as child rearing and care. Grandparents often take on the responsibility of teaching their grandchildren the native tongue and customs of their homelands (Thomas 1994). The older generations keep their status as householders until a certain age, which varied with the profession and other considerations, until they retired from active life. In the traditional multigenerational family, the grandfather gradually hands over his role as to his sons. At first, the grandfather hands over the monetary responsibilities of managing the family budget. After they have proven responsibility, he later allows the son to become the finishing decision maker in the family. After this, the oldest son becomes the head householder. The daughters-in-law are responsible for most of the housekeeping tasks soon after they entered the family if she does not work. The grandmother takes on or continues with complementary roles in housekeeping and caring for the grandchildren when the parents are at work. The new wives are to obey the family patriarchs, typically their fathers-in-law rules and are required to devote themselves completely to their new families. (Noriko1996)
Although Asian family roles have changed considerably in the past 20 years aspects of the traditional or continuing family, remain. Living arrangements, money, and the concepts of filial piety and reciprocity play a role in intergenerational relations. Intergenerational relationships focus mainly around parent-child and grandparent-grandchild relations and care giving is very vital in both relationships. Care giving includes both adult children caring for older parents, and the care of grandchildren by grandparents. At times, care becomes stressful on the adult parents tending to the grandparents, and the grandparents tending to the children. On the other hand, it can also be...

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