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!

Comments

  1. I am 59 years old, retired and enjoying not working and enjoying my freedom when I get a call to take my 12 year old granddaughter. I get the call from her not my daughter. What it boils down to is my daughter chose her boyfriend over her own daughter. They have a son together and the boyfriend refused to be in the same room as my granddaughter. This jerk who emotionally abused my granddaughter, very controlling person didn’t like the fact that I would speak up the way they were treating her. Of course I was labeled the controlling mother and they said I meddled to much. Of course I did, when you see tears and fear in a child’s eyes.
    I picked her up, then my daughter calls me and says she wants her to go live with her dad. A man who doesn’t work because of his mental problems brought on by drugs. She wanted that because she knew he couldn’t give her everything she wanted. she wanted to send her with someone who lived in a studio apartment paid for by social security. Not to mention he has 2 other kids by different woman. The first one he gave up parental rights and the other one, the girl’s family thought he was crazy so he has never seen this child.
    I took my daughter and him to court because he wanted her. Of course the judge sided with me, Thank God.
    Now she is having behavioral problems, she’s on medication, a decision that took me months to finally put her on them. She’s doing better on them. Her grades suck, she’s been before a judge at the age of 12 (while living with her mom for fighting at school). She got probation, community service and a fine.
    Sometimes I want to give up on her, but where will she go. I only feel that way when she doesn’t do good in school and she gets so many referrals. I will not give up on her. If I do where will she become. I only feel that way I never tell her that.
    I would like to start a support group here for grandparents raising grandchildren and have it more personnel. We could all meet and talk face to face. I was told by her school that so many grandparents are raising kids. I see some of them in wheelchairs, some way older then me, and some with multiple kids.
    Whatever I have to offer to you or to anyone I would be more then happy to help.
    Jody Taylor

  2. Rita pacchiana 22 Apr, 2012

    I am a 59 year old omen who rwaised my three children.We are not working boyth my husband and I collect disabilty.We were enjoying our freedom .Then a call comes my youngest daughter has gone to jail and I was watching my 18 month old grandson.Well all our plans and our lives are now upside down.We love him to death but we are wondering if she gets five years how are we going to do it?It has ben a long time 21 yearsince I had a child this young.I hope i can find a support groupo to help us with this