Giving Thanks For Grandparents Who Are Raising Their Grandchildren
Last month I wrote a post about grandparents who were raising grandchildren. One of the reasons I did so was because of an article I ran across that said, “….in the last 10 years, the number of children living with their grandparents has increased by 50 percent.” Another article said, “According to the U.S. Census Bureau six million kids are being raised by grandparents.”
Wow, I thought to myself, I wonder why such high numbers and how are these folks managing? Being the nosy, writer person that I am I decided to ask. I posted questions on several different websites and blogs and asked friends to put me in touch with people they knew who were raising their grandchildren. I sent ten questions to the grandparents who responded and I’ll share those questions with you in just a minute, but first I want to say “Thank You!” to all who responded and to tell you) that today is Gratituesday (giving thanks on Tuesday) and I’m giving thanks for each of you and for the thousands of other grandparents out there who are stepping up to the plate for their grandchildren.
1. How old is your grandchild now and when did they come to live with you?
2. What are the circumstances that caused you to raise your grandchild?
3. How did other family members feel about the grandchild coming to live with you? Do they feel differently now? if so, why?
4. Describe your relationship with your grandchild.
5. Has this relationship affected your relationship with your other grandchildren?
6. What have been the biggest challenges in raising your grandchild?
7. What have been the biggest rewards?
8. What advice would you have for other men or women who are taking in grandchildren?
9. Who has helped you the most when it comes to raising your grandchild? (church family, your own family, neighbors, etc.)
10. What if anything did you do differently with your grandchild than you did with your children and why?
Answers to all the questions varied but there were some similarities. The main thing I noticed was that all these folks were happy with their decision, and even though there were challenges (finding the energy to keep up was at the top of the list) all of them felt blessed to be able to care for their grandchildren.
Here are some comments they made when asked about advice to other grandparents who may find themselves in a similar situation.
“Guide them without smothering and always remember to take time for a bubble bath or a cup of tea for yourself. If you are refreshed they will feel it.”
“Be sure you the legal authority to do what is necessary for the care and welfare of the child or children. We hired an attorney. We were first awarded “ex-parte” emergency guardianship. Later that was changed to custody. Laws in various sates vary, but we felt it was worth every penny to have an attorney who is experienced in family law.”
“My advice is: Pray, ask the Lord daily for patience, strength and wisdom; get plenty of vitamins, especially B-12 it really does make a difference. Teach them respect for themselves and for others. Today’s world is vastly different than when I grew up. You have to make sure that your grandchild feels loved and is grounded enough to stand tough against the temptations he will encounter in school and on the playground. Tough love is necessary sometimes, don’t be afraid to use it. Don’t be afraid to discipline your grandchildren. I know some people feel sorry for their grandchilds circumstances and then let them get away with everything under the sun.”
“It took me a while before I really understood I was now in a parenting role. That meant not just food and clothing and a roof, but protecting her even from people who may have been well-meaning but were damaging her emotional growth.”
I am still hoping to hear from more grandparents who are raising grandchildren. If you know of someone in this situation please ask them to contact me at NanaHood. From time to time I will be adding posts specifically for them.
Blessings to you friends! Have a great Gratituesday!