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Grandparents are closer than ever to their teenage grandchildren and play a critical role throughout their everyday lives, according to a study published by the charity Grandparents Plus.
The study, My Second Mum and Dad, reveals that grandparents have a significant involvement in teenagers' lives including supporting them through parental divorce or separation.
In the first ever survey of young people about their grandparents, researchers questioned a representative sample of over 1,500 teenagers on relationships with their grandparents and carried out in-depth interviews with 40 of them.
The report found that teenage grandchildren see it as their right to maintain contact with grandparents in the event of parental conflict, separation or divorce, and will even go behind their parents' back to do so. Teenagers want grandparents informed - but not directly involved in any court proceedings.
Grandparents Plus chief executive Sam Smethers said: "We know that grandparents play a significant role in the lives of their grandchildren but the debate tends to focus on their childcare role with very young children. This report shows just how critical that role is for teenagers too.
"Baby Boomer grandparents tend to be more comfortable with new technology than previous generations. Keeping in touch and keeping up with their grandchildren is easier for them as a result".
She continued: "Teenagers are living troubled lives. Over 1 in 3 in our survey had experienced a crime or an accident. With more homes where both partners work and high rates of parental separation and divorce, grandparents are playing a vital and growing role supporting parents and young people. We need to do more to recognise and value this relationship because it's good for families and good for society."
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