mother taking selfie with infant child
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
March 20, 2024 ·  5 min read

Some Millennials Are Feeling ‘Abandoned’ By Parents Not Available to Help Raise Grand kids

Life is undeniably hard for everyone. Some may struggle more than others, but everyone struggles. However, families are supposed to be there for one another and support each other in times of struggle. Alternatively, millennials are “feeling abandoned” by their boomer parents who aren’t available to “help raise” their children.

Millennials Feel Abandoned

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A discussion circulated on the internet a few years back regarding either grandparents getting paid to watch their grandkids, or whether or not they should be available to do so at the drop of a hat. In the same way that most things eventually resurface, so too has the debate once again. Whether or not grandparents should provide childcare with no compensation or anytime it’s needed. Millennials like Kristjana Hillberg are taking note of some changes that have occurred regarding the dynamic of grandparents caring for grandchildren. In particular, how it’s not the way millennials remember it.

Hillberg explains that she vividly remembers staying with her grandparents when her parents would have a night out or take a trip, noting that it was rather frequent. In contrast, it seems grandparents these days are less available for free childcare. Furthermore, there are numerous explanations as to why things are this way. Generally, it’s all circumstantial and can depend on things like geographical location, feeling a sense of independence, or even still having to work a full-time job.

Read: Millennials, Please Stop Painting Vintage Furniture White

Expert Opinions

Other millennials, like Los Angeles-based psychologist Leslie Dobson, have also weighed in. Sharing her own experiences she explained that when she went through this with her 71-year-old father. Eventually, she realized it was simply an opportunity for him to explore and enjoy his days. She explained that they’re basically going through a “three-fourth life crisis.”

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On the other hand, her father spoke with Business Insider and disclosed that his children and grandchildren have it easier than he did. He explained, “I haven’t spent a nickel less on my kids. I just spent some on me.

Playing Devil’s Advocate

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While some grandparents today are available and incredibly involved in the lives of their grandchildren, others are only around for family gatherings and visits rather than being responsible for or “taking care of” the grandchildren. In many cases, millennials are having a hard time making ends meet. This is particularly true as inflation increases and people feel that childcare would be much easier to find if grandparents ‘stepped up.’ After all, they’re supposed to love their grandkids and cherish the opportunities to spend time with them. However, due to rising costs, among other reasons, some boomers have also had to go back to work.

Read: Gen Z is Coming for Millennials and We Deserve it

Boomers don’t have the same pension plans and health benefits that were once offered by companies who cared for employees and wanted to ensure their happiness and loyalty. Many are living on a fixed income and have to go back to work. Therefore, grandparents go to work and come home, not necessarily having the energy to care for children, no matter how much they love them.

Moreover, the cost of travel and flights have also increased. Therefore, it’s no longer as easy for people to just travel across state lines to spend the weekend with their grandchildren so their millennial children can have a weekend getaway.

Millennials are Seemingly Entitled

Millennials are seemingly not taking their parents’ well-being into consideration. Some might even argue that millennials are being entitled by expecting their parents to provide free and endless childcare. “uhm, i’ll put it this way. i’m a millennial btw. my mother already RAISED HER KIDS. she is not obligated to raise mine too. my kid is my and my husbands responsibility. i appreciate my mom offering to babysit when she does but i would never ever rely solely on her availability. same goes for my mom in law.” Commented a millennial regarding her stance on not feeling entitled to free and unlimited childcare.

Millennials are Protecting Children

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Other millennials have also pointed out that their parent’s choices may hurt their own mental well-being, or that of their children. For example, one mom had to tell her mother-in-law to take a step back when she’d constantly undermine her parenting. Things got so bad that her “toddler would ask if I loved her.” Often, these grandparents can be overbearing and unwittingly create a toxic and confusing environment. In some cases, it might even be helpful for millennials to address their own childhood scars when dealing with toxic parents.

Read: 10 Emotional Wounds Daughters with Unloving Mothers Carry into Adulthood

Achieving Balance

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In contrast, other millennials have rationally explained some key differences. For example, expecting your parents to help raise your kids is not the same as hoping they’ll simply be involved in their grandchildren’s lives. “I think it’s a far stretch from raising them to being very involved and supporting them. I would love for all of our grandparents to be more involved, not for me but for our children. My children genuinely just want them to be more present and spend more time with them. I feel like my grandparents generation was the last generation that the grandparents loved to be involved and be a part of everything. I feel like we have become a very “all about me” and selfish culture.” She commented.

Furthermore, while a sense of entitlement isn’t a desirable trait, and in some cases can be mental health disorder, there are some cases in which grandparents are likely to step in without any hesitation. For instance, millennials these days may deal with PPD by taking short breaks from parenting. Perhaps a walk in nature to reconnect with themselves. Or a dinner out together. As a result, a grandparent may be more likely to fit in time to provide mental health support to their children as well as jump at the opportunity to bond with their grandchildren, provided it’s not all the time and grandparents don’t feel they’re being taken advantage of.

The goal it seems for millennials and boomers to agree on this matter is to achieve balance. For grandparents to put forth effort to develop a bond with their grandchildren. Meanwhile, millennials should be more conscientious. Noting when they’ll ask their parents to be involved, ensuring not to use them for a sole source of childcare.

Keep Reading: 13 Things Parents Did in the 50s & 60s That They Could Never Do Today


  1. Millennials feel ‘abandoned’ by parents not available to help raise grandkids: ‘Too busy’.NY Post. December 3, 2023.
  2. Not Quietly Quitting But Quietly Returning, Older Workers Are Changing Work And Retirement.Forbes. Joseph Coughlin. September 2, 2022.
  3. What Is a Sense of Entitlement?Very Well Mind. Arlin Cuncic. August 29, 2021.
  4. When your parents suck as grandparents.” Today’s Parent. Vanessa Milne. June 25, 2019.