Grandparents raising grandchildren
Are you a grandparent raising your grandchildren, or do you know someone who is? The Brookdale Grandparent Caregiver Information Project based at the University of California at Berkeley Center on Aging has said that in the last 10 years, the number of children living with their grandparents has increased by 50 percent. After reading about this I did some research and decided to create a new category especially for these folks. When I run across articles or information that might be helpful to them I’ll post it here at NanaHood.
The article I read went on to say, “According to a survey by AARP, 31% of adults are grandparents. Of that number, 8% are providing day care on a regular basis, and 3% are rearing a grandchild. The 2000 U.S. Census reports that 6.3% of US children under 18, 4.5 million, live in grandparent-headed households. There are no parents present in the lives of about one-third of these children. In 2005, a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau noted that the number of grandparents raising their grandchildren had risen to nearly six million kids or about 8 percent of kids in the U.S.”
Not too long ago I was a grant writer and one of the grants I worked on required information about the living arrangements of students. It didn’t surprise me to learn that many families were living with grandparents, some with their parents and some without. Many single moms had moved back in with their parents in order to keep a roof over their heads. While this is not the same thing as grandparents raising grandchildren without any help, it can present many challenges too. Remember the show “Everybody Loves Ray”? Can you imagine living in the same house with his mother and trying to be a parent?
Here are just a few challenges that the article mentioned in connection with grandparents raising their grandchildren.
- They feel more stressed due to concerns about their own health and finances.
- Housing may be an issue if they are living in a senior citizen complex.
- The issue of medical care for the children is difficult.
- There is the loss of time for themselves and their dream of retirement dies.
- Their social life and circle changes drastically.
- There is also an emotional toll. Feelings range from fear, anger, exhaustion, resentment, grief, and shame to thankfulness and joy. This type of stress can damage a marriage.
If you are raising your grandchildren or helping raise them I would like to hear from you. What are some challenges you have faced and how have you handled them? Do you have suggestions for other grandparents in the same situation?
Please send your comments or post them and I will be in touch! Blessings to you, my friends. For all you do for children!