The latest data from the United States Census Bureau has shown that 2.7 million grandparents in the US are raising their grandchildren, with about 39% of them having done so for five years or more. If you are among those who are valiantly doing so, then you are worthy of praise – it is certainly not an easy task.
It’s natural to feel lost sometimes, for raising a grandchild is likely something you never expected to see yourself doing in your golden years.
To help assuage some of your fears, we have compiled a handy list of the 5 useful principles for grandparents raising grandchildren.
Read more to find out!
When grandchildren live with grandparents, it’s often due to something that will inevitably have to be discussed down the road.
If your grandchildren are young, you have some time to prepare yourself, and how you will handle that conversation. If they’re older, there’s no point in waiting, for it will be harmful for them to learn the circumstances surrounding you getting their custody from someone else. After all, honesty is the foundation of any solid relationship, and it’s certain that’s what you want to have with your grandchildren, too.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help from an expert if you don’t know how to go about with this. Children psychologists are more than equipped to help you navigate this thorny subject.
Trust your instincts
Let’s face it: the generational gap is real – and we’re not just talking about learning all the new words your grandchildren seem to be using, or keeping up with the ever-changing technology.
You were raised in a very different time, and it can be hard to adapt. Don’t give up, though! Grandchildren love grandparents and they’ll understand if there are some things that they do that you just don’t “get”.
Just trust your instincts and know that you can tell what’s right from wrong regardless. You’ve got this!
Set a routine
The notion of what grandchildren mean to grandparents changes when you become their primary caretaker, as you don’t get to be the fun grandma or grandpa who caters to their every whim anymore.
Setting a routine is key and it will help your grandchildren feel that their life has structure. If you feel helpless, to the point that you don’t know what what to make, say, for breakfast, then you can always check out the current top cereal brands to find something that will be a hit with your grandchildren.
Be loving and supportive
When grandchildren are allowed to stay with grandparents, they look to them to cover all their needs, and that includes feeling supported in whatever they may pursue.
Do just that: lend them your ear and always, always give a helping hand. Shower them with love, warmth and understanding. Trust us when we say that they will forever be grateful to you for that.
Accept your grandchildren for who they are
Grandchildren need grandparents more than you will ever know. It’s very important for them to feel accepted for who they are, especially from their primary caretaker: you.
So, don’t fall into the trap of playing favorites, or scorning your grandchildren for character traits you may not like. Let them be who they are, and make it a point to show them that they are beautiful for that.
Being a grandparent who raises their grandchildren can be difficult, but it’s nothing sort of a rewarding experience.
You’re called to not only provide as shelter, food and clothing, but, most importantly, the stability, love and support that will allow your grandchildren to thrive.
Judging by the fact that you took the time to read this article, we think you are already doing a pretty good job at that.
Let us know in the comments: how do you feel like as a grandparent raising their grandchildren?