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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

 
Grandparents face unique challenges raising their grandchildren. Are you raising your grandchild? What are your biggest concerns? How is raising a grandkid different than raising your children? Share your advice, support and stories.
Comments
Replied By: danidani on Feb 2, 2016, 12:30AM
The concerns in recent years to now is to just share by blogging," how important it is for there to be support outside of the family" with minimal motive or unrecognized objectives or judgements. For some reason it seems people really don't care to make friends or they are consumed in their lives. I've learned also that it is not a sure thing what a GP knows and to utilize knowledge or in the middle of learning new things such as current best practices versus how things were handled 150 years ago with great G G Grandmaw but what currently is advocated for. There are many people against grandparent (s). It's almost anti-social most suredly communication blocks. I think any arrangements that include the birth parent(s) coming and going has its pros and cons but most importantly the larger groups are better dealt with from grandparents instead of birth parents. It's heck out there and the amount of support the larger group has is important to the lives / lifestyle of the GP and Gc. My Gc didn't see his mom very much the first 3 years, but I had ask her with the assumption a Social Worker would be making contact with her because she still currently has no HS diploma, no job, and unmarried and was 22 23 years old, running around in the information age of infested drug communities, with a fractured splintered shoulder, with prescription medications, "will she be putting him in pre-k?" . It got her attention but she didn't. There's noone saying she had too, so as a GP being on your toes is best. I wake up better now than I did 30 years ago. I hear more pertinent information more than I did at  20 and 30. I've now gotten the second half of the discipline plan where 30 years ago I only was part dicsiplining, and I now have so much information but saddened at how some of the problems being uniqe can be occuring after we've done so much.
 
Replied By: lineinthesand on Jan 7, 2016, 5:40AM - In reply to lineinthesand
Hello i am in pretty much the same situation. The main difference is that the bios did have custody for about 2 years and the grandsons do remember that time, especailly the older one. We have had custody since they were 2 and 4, they are now 7 and 9. Just like you, the bios have supervised visits. I specifically told my daughter to stop talking about reuinification in her vists. I told the vist monitor she is not to talk about reunification with the boys. Well, yesterday, she announced to the boys that she is pregnant. I am not happy about this pregnancy, mainly becuase of my daughter's manipulations and refusal to acknowledge her mental illness and drug issues. She has used heroin as recently as 7 months ago, and although she may be "clean" for time periods, she has not dealt with her mental health issues. She continues to live in a fantasy world and is a horrible influence on the children. Like you i have the boys seeing a terrific counselor. They have made so much progress. But this pregnancy, and her failure to tell me before the boys proves she is not making plans to protect their emotional well being. She is a long way from being capable of raising these boys along with another baby. The man she is living with (i am assuming he is the father) is not a drug user but i am dissapointed in him noneltheless that they did not use a better form of birth control and that he would make a baby with someone with so much drama and mental illness it is unfair to the child. I have compeltely distanced my self from my daughter. I only see her when i absoutely have to. So i will not have a relationship with this new baby very much either. I am okay with that. But i worry about the boys seeing my lack of enthusiasm for this pregnancy. To make matters worse, she is high-risk, so the chance if a misaciiruage is so high that she shoould not have told them until she was at least in the second trimester. Obviously, she has no concept of protecting the children from unnessesary drama and her manipulations.
 
Replied By: lineinthesand on Jan 7, 2016, 5:39AM - In reply to ashtin
Hello i am in pretty much the same situation. The main difference is that the bios did have custody for about 2 years and the grandsons do remember that time, especailly the older one. We have had custody since they were 2 and 4, they are now 7 and 9. Just like you, the bios have supervised visits. I specifically told my daughter to stop talking about reuinification in her vists. I told the vist monitor she is not to talk about reunification with the boys. Well, yesterday, she announced to the boys that she is pregnant. I am not happy about this pregnancy, mainly becuase of my daughter's manipulations and refusal to acknowledge her mental illness and drug issues. She has used heroin as recently as 7 months ago, and although she may be "clean" for time periods, she has not dealt with her mental health issues. She continues to live in a fantasy world and is a horrible influence on the children. Like you i have the boys seeing a terrific counselor. They have made so much progress. But this pregnancy, and her failure to tell me before the boys proves she is not making plans to protect their emotional well being. She is a long way from being capable of raising these boys along with another baby. The man she is living with (i am assuming he is the father) is not a drug user but i am dissapointed in him noneltheless that they did not use a better form of birth control and that he would make a baby with someone with so much drama and mental illness it is unfair to the child. I have compeltely distanced my self from my daughter. I only see her when i absoutely have to. So i will not have a relationship with this new baby very much either. I am okay with that. But i worry about the boys seeing my lack of enthusiasm for this pregnancy. To make matters worse, she is high-risk, so the chance if a misaciiruage is so high that she shoould not have told them until she was at least in the second trimester. Obviously, she has no concept of protecting the children from unnessesary drama and her manipulations.
 
Replied By: claasy6 on Nov 8, 2015, 11:30AM
I noticed there hasn't been a post in here since 2014, why is that? Granted, it took some digging to get to it, but I finally found it. This should be a top trending topic, but it seems to fall at the weigh side. What can we do as grandparents to this issue off the ground? Just because we are "family" doesn't mean it's any less important that the kids in Foster Care. The only difference is we are not getting the government assistance like the Foster Care kids.
 
Replied By: ashtin on May 15, 2015, 8:46PM
You ask what the biggest concerns are for grandparents raising grandchildren. Of course we have all of the normal concerns of anyone else raising children. With some it's health. With others it's finances. With me it's my grand child's emotional wellbeing.
I have had my gc for almost 4 years. we started officially (taken by DCF) raising this gc at 1 yrs old... Bios were nowhere to be found for the first 3 yrs that we had custody. They eventually were arrested for drugs and after serving several months in jail have gotten clean. I can not begin to tell you the joy in my heart that they have stopped the drugs. It was so bad that I constantly waited for that phone call telling me that they had od'd.
As happy as I am about their change in habits it doesn't change the fact that my gc does not know them as parents. Even with court ordered weekly visitation they come 1/4 of the time. they are no longer a couple so the visits are separate. My gc has been in therapy for 3 yrs hoping that we can get through this with as little emotional damage as possible. We have explained that these are the parents to gc. It doesn't seem to sink in...maybe it's because my gc doesn't know the meaning of parent??? One of the bios started telling my gc that it wouldn't be long and they would all be living together. This caused nightmares, separation anxiety, bed wetting, potty accidents, tantrums...etc
My gc is constantly saying, "don't ever leave me".
Taking a child that has bonded with their caregiver as they should have bonded with bios is unimaginable. This is the equivalent of thanking this child from parents that they have lived with and bonded and giving them to someone who is practically a stranger. Who in their right mind could think that this is in the best interest of the child.?
The goal with these children in permanency. According to the ASFA once a child in in foster care 15 out of 22 months they are available to be adopted by foster parents. This does not apply to kinship caregivers. These children are left in limbo as the bios can petition the courts at any time to regain custody. Is this fair? Should we have double standards? Don't kinship deserve the same stability and permanency as foster?
The thinking that children should always be reunited with bios is outdated and just down right wrong in many cases. The children today are most likely dealing with bios who were/are drug addicts. Many were exposed to drugs in utero and are dealing with the problems that comes along with the drugs. Bios on drugs DO NOT bond with these children. Sometimes once they decide to become parents it's too late...they bond has been made with another caregiver.
If anything, we need legislature that gives kinship children the same rights as foster children...a PERMANENT HOME.
 
Replied By: brewer2011 on Sep 5, 2014, 9:40AM
I have been there too raising my grandbabies too. I have in the past and present still on again off again and they parents shouldnt even have these kids they make some many bad choices and the kids pay... i have had my grand daughter here for 8 month and then she went back to mom and dad by court order mom and dad arent together and their lives are soo messed up its not even funny .. but the courts and the counyt i live really stink.. there is no help here for us grand parents to get the kids in a better place with us... this is a very deprived place where they live.. tryin to do my best in keeping the kids safe but when you have the area you live not helping you since the FUNDING is gone doesnt help.. i just fear for the kids! but tryin to do what i can.. and turning for help her is likeasking for free water....not good..frustrated Nana here.
 
Replied By: mamanonna on Jun 20, 2014, 3:45PM
Hello,

My husband and I have been raising my biological granddaughter since her birth 4 1/2 years ago.  I was 40 and my husband was 43 when she was born and our adoption with her was final 2 years ago.  We are raising our granddaughter due to my now 22 year old daughter's serious mental health challenges. My husband and I had raised our blended family of 5 children to near adulthood before our granddaughter was born and we had been making plans for and looking forward to our newfound ability to spend more time together as a couple, to travel, to do philanthropic work, and to simply enjoy less responsibility and more freeedom.  That changed in the blink of an eye the day we found out our beautiful baby granddaughter was on her way and that we would be the ones to welcome her home and care for her.  I think anyone posting in this forum who is a grandparent raising a grandchild understands the challenges of such a situation even when they love their grandchild/grandchildren with every fiber of their being as we do.  One of the most challenging aspects of the situation for me is lonliness.  I have chosen to remain at home full time to care for our granddaughter, which I am blessed to be able to do, yet at the same time it's a very isolating situation.  We are Christians, we are involved in a church small group, we attend church services each weekend, and we have a couple of sets of married friends that we spend time with on occasion, but  what I am lacking is meaningful relationship with other young grandparents raising their grandchildren who can relate to life in this front.  I am in San Diego, so if there are other young grandparents in our situation who live in San Diego and would like to connect with me/us that would be great.  By all means, post a reply and let me know!  May God bless all of you wonderful grandparents who are doing what He has called us to do....care for the orphan.  Sometimes these orphans can be found within our own families.
 
Replied By: neneof8 on Jun 8, 2014, 5:00PM
We adopted our granddaughter 5 years ago.  She is now 11.  Every year it gets harder.  She has stolen our credit card and made purchases on line several times.  We get things worked out and take things away for months at a time.  She swears she won't do it again and we (I) give in and let her have access to internet, and she does it again.  I am so tired of fighting with her I am loosing any compassion for her.  She is hateful, will not shower or brush her hair.  She has been diagnosed ADHD and RAD.  Has anyone else dealt with a child like this?  She is driving me crazy and I am starting to look for a treatment facility.  She has been in counseling numerous times and it doesn't. Seem to help.  She also has a fit every time we have an appointment, and I can not physically get her in the car.  We live in the middle of Kansas and resources are not readily available .  If anyone has answers or suggestions, please respond to this post.
 
Replied By: matnet4 on May 22, 2014, 1:52PM - In reply to caseya718
I don't think you're being overprotective in the least!! I agree with you, 100%. I too grew up in a volatile atmosphere, as did my husband. And sadly, we carried that into our own parenting. Now, as a grandparent, I'm older and wiser. While I believe it's not wrong for children to see healthy disagreement, fighting or arguing around children is damaging to them. As Dr. Phil always says, "it changes who they become." How I wish I got that through my head when my kids were little. I think you're on the right track, completely!!
 
Replied By: shaylavale on May 21, 2014, 1:59PM
  I have to say I am thankful that I am still young enough to handle raising my grand-daughter... Reading the stories here saddens me that there seems to be a trend of Grandparents raising grandchildren. I know when we set out as parents we never planned for this job... It is mostly a thankless job... Unfortunately the conditions that created the need for us to take in our grandchildren is the same reason our children don't seem to care what we are doing for them, or what they are missing out on....  


  I have had my grand-daughter pretty much since birth. I took temporary custody of her when she was 6 weeks old... and adopted her when she was 18 months old...  She doesn't see me as grandma...  We have explained to her in terms that she can understand that I am not her birth mommy....  and that her birth mommy was my daughter....  but at 5 she is still way too young to understand the complete picture...


  What sadden's me most is that I can't be the Grandma...  I have to be the Mommy....  I wish it was all baking cookies... spoiling her rotten... and sending her home to her parents... Unfortunately I have to parent her... teach her right from wrong....  What complicates matters even more is that she knows that she has a biological brother and sister... who unfortunately are being adopted by someone else... and they aren't willing to allow contact with the siblings... or myself...  That is the part that is hard to explain to her...  


  History has repeated itself in my family... my mother adopted my brother's child.... my  great grandparents adopted my father... So I have some examples of how NOT to handle some things...  My mother never told my sister about her biological parents.... and when she found out she was devistated...  My great grandparents only adopted my father and not his brother.... and he grew up resenting the family for abandoning him.... I fear that is how my other grandchildren will feel when they grow up....  


  Anyway we are the last stop for these children and I commend all grandparents taking on the responsibility and starting over.... Just love these kids.... be as honest as you can with them...  without demonizing their parents if at all possible.... I keep telling my daughter that her "belly mommy" loved her so much that she wanted what was the very best for her... and that was giving her to me to be her mommy.....  I just hope that throughout her life I do the very best I can to give her the security and love she needs to be ok with her adoption...  and the history of her life...
 
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