Jan. 11, 2021 — The pandemic has revealed a new generational divide that has baby boomers and their children at odds over safety, and grandchildren are often a point of disagreement.
Gen Xers have complained during the pandemic that their “boomer” parents aren’t taking COVID-19 seriously enough and think that they need to protect them and/or their children.
“I hear people who complain that their father will not wear a mask or socially distance or quarantine. They’re not willing to have that grandparent be around their children,” says F. Diane Barth, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in New York City and Massachusetts.
When parents say they’re not visiting to protect the grandparents, the elders often “get upset because they don’t feel they need to be protected. There are some boomer parents who do not believe the danger is real or that they’re in danger,” says Barth.
But it works both ways. Some boomer parents are being careful and have decided against visiting the grandchildren in person because they’re going to school.
Other boomer grandparents feel that it’s safe to visit in person but complain about the rules their children have imposed.
David, 69, of New York City, who asked that only his first name be used to protect his privacy, wanted to visit his daughter and infant granddaughter on his birthday in November.