From a family standpoint, grandparents have the symbolic roles of just being there, of being the family watchdog, the arbitrator and/or being active participants in the family's social construction of its history. From the grandchildren's standpoint, grandparents are historians, mentors, role models, nurturers and ... wizards. And wizards they are: Grandfathers - when they act as surrogate parents for children of teenager - can prevent intellectual and adaptive deficits and enhance cognitive development (Wilton & Davey, 2006). According to a Danish study, modern grandfathers change diapers and take the grandchildren to school. They take a role that was traditionally attributed to grandmothers (via).
Wilton, V. & Davey, J. A. (2006) Grandfathers - Their Changing Family Roles and Contributions (via)
Photo of Alfred Hitchcock with his grandchildren via