2

Happy Times With Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Life comes up with so many road blocks but it is really sad when it comes at the expense of kids.  Right now in the United States and Canada combined there are almost 4 million households where grandparents are raising grandchildren.  The reasons for this vary from death, divorce, drugs, abandonment and many other reasons.  Grandparent need to understand they have rights.  They also need to know where to find them and how to understand them.  Not knowing their rights tend to play havoc on grandparents.  They never know when someone can walk right in and take the kids away.  As if grandparents don’t have enough on their plates with everything it takes to raise grandchildren.  Now they end up going to bed at night stressed and worried about the unknown.  For grandparents in this situation with a little homework several support groups can be found in Canada and the United States.  These groups will also always send grandparents in the right direction to find the things they need.

It is imperative that grandparents do what they can to get the legal rights for the custody they are pursuing.  Adoption and guardianship comes with the rights to apply for stuff like proper schooling, housing that fits the family, social services and any assistance provided by government and certain organizations.

Without the legal rights some and possibly all of these benefits could be withheld.  Something else to understand is that most states and provinces will have slightly or very different conditions in order to help grandparents who apply for help in raising their grandkids.  So it is up to you to do your homework and study the rules and conditions where you live.

 

Grandparents and Their Problems

In almost all cases grandparents are just thrown into the role of raising their grandkids.  In most cases there is a lot of stress brought onto the grandparents.  The stress can range from physical, mental and financial.  You need to understand these grandparents aren’t given any options or time.  One day they are grandparents enjoying retirement and the next day they are changing diapers.  Many times the grandparents need to go back to work or continue working longer than planned.  In many cases they even need to go and find other means of finance like relying on other family members.

Of course some grandparents are financially set and they can whether the financial storm that is about to be thrust upon them.  Also in many cases when the grandparents are young enough and still healthy find less stress in raising their grandchildren.  Instead of the stress and everything else sometimes things can turn out really well.  If the stars and planets all align a grandparent raising their grandchild relationship could end up being a very happy one from all parties involved.

Grandparents Can Make the Home a Happy One

Relationships with children and grandparents are not like parent, child relationships so when suddenly the roles do take place there are definite adjustments that will need to be made.  There are a number of fun things that the grandchildren and grandparents can do to help ease the adjustment that is going to be needed to be made.

Things to Do

I don’t know many kids who don’t like reading and listening to stories.  So this is where the grandparents have a great advantage because they can tell all kinds of stories that happened in the older days.  Kids will listen very attentively at old stories.  These stories tend to be full of excitement, action and adventure.  Also in most cases there is never a shortage of these stories.

Everybody loves to go on little trips.  When I say little I mean day trips to keep everyone busy and content.  Some of these could be hockey games, baseball games, circus, zoos, museums and so forth.  I think you get the picture.  There are so many things that can be done.  Even walks fall into the category of doing things.  It’s important to involve everyone in the decisions because it’s important that everyone is happy or a good time could go bad in a hurry.

Of course the age old tradition of playing can be practised by grandparents and grandchildren.  Such things as hide and seek, tag, playing in the sandbox or just hanging out at the park.

Now we can lean on the children to guide their grandparents.  This is the day and age of technology.  Everyone it seems has a computer but not everyone knows how to work them.  This is where the grandkids come in.  We all know there aren’t many kids that don’t know how to run a computer.  Heck in some cases it may even be the kids introducing their grandchildren to our friend Google.

A Final Word

Being a grandparent can be a tough job, being a grandparent raising their grandchildren can be as stressful as it gets.  So it is important to remember and use the support groups that are available in the States and Canada.  These can help overcome most of the issues and problems that come up.

At the end of the day we have to all remember that no matter how difficult things get keeping the kids interest at heart.  As long as a good relationship can be established everything will work out just fine.

Dale Mazurek

2 Comments

  1. Hey Dale:

    Your post was very interesting to me since I was a child raised by my grandparents. For us, it was more of a cultural thing: my grandma “claimed” me and took me home with her. I was raised as a favored child (also known as “the Brat.”)

    My mom and I act like sisters since we were raised by the same people and there isn’t the mom-daughter conflict thing between us. We like each other, for one thing, and there isn’t that “generational gap” divide between us. Our attitudes are a lot similar, I think, because my grands had such a hand in my raising.

    I do know that at one point my grandparents also were raising a couple of cousins of mine and they lost the boys when my aunt remarried and wanted them back.

    My grandparents were devastated by that loss. That’s when they decided they would adopt me legally — no more “hanai” (informal adoption) for them.

    • Grandparents can truly be an important part of the extended family.  And yes I imagine it can be devastating if you get the kids taken away even after you have protected and treated them like your own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *