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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.
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

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 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...
Replied By: caseya718 on Sep 17, 2013, 7:36AM
I grew up in a violatile environment and as an adult I see that my parents continue to argue and fight verbally even in the prescense of my 2 year old nephew. My perspective is that as an adult one should be mature enough to bite their tongue long enough to go to a secluded area if one feels the need to argue with their spouse. I'm concerned about bringing my children around my parents because I suffered a lot of emotional damage growing up and don't want to subject my own children to that type of turmoil. I have informed my mom who states that only in a fantasy world parents don't argue in front of their children. I'm at a loss of what is "normal"? Am I over protective?
Replied By: scorpionana44 on Aug 16, 2013, 2:38PM
I am a 44 year old single mummy and nana . I started raising my granddaughter when she was about 2months old . Her mother has an intellectual disability and does not have the emotional nor life skills qualities needed to raise her daughter. The hardest thing for me raising my granddaughter is that my daughter doesnt have the intellect to understand that she has given up the joy of raising her own child. It is very hard for my granddaughter who is now 5 to understand why she does not live with her mother . My granddaughter thank goodness was not born with the same disability as her mother . Amazingly she has a very high IQ crazy how that worked out. We try and see her mum once a week but as her mum does not have any bond or even understands intellectualy that she has a daughter it is hard to keep this up. It is very hard on me as I was a young mum 17 years old and my husband passed away at 24 I dedicated raising my girls alone until they were old enough to live their own lives , now I have my granddaughter in my custody I am now putting my life on hold for another 20 years.  It really hurts to see Izy with her mum and her mum not really getting it . I just wish my daughter had the intellect to understand that she will never have the qualites needed to raise her daughter . It is hard knowing that one day I have to explain all this to my granddaughter .
Replied By: dianabenitez on Jul 19, 2013, 3:06PM - In reply to angielock
i clearly understand your fustration.  you felt that by supporting your child, it was 'maybe' the right thing to do.  your heart lead the way.  and now you are 'STUCK'  with the buren and responsibility of raising these children.  what your support should have been... that opportunity is gone... your face with today... please dont make another mistake with these children... they are our tomorrows. 
it is up to you... since you took on this endeavor... to make a better world for them... the first thing and the last thing you do... is hold those babies.  and the only rational reason you give these babies.  'is that their parents are NOT WELL. COMFORT THOSE BABIES.  WHAT YOU DO WITH THEM... is what kind of persons they will become.  you already made your errors with those that left.  DO NOT DO IT AGAIN. 

the effects of their own parents leaving them behind is something that they will have to live with forever.  the fact that their parents 'LEFT THEM'  & DID NOT WANT THEM.  YOU CAN'T CHANGED THAT... BUT WHAT you can do... is tell them how much you love them... 

you already made that choice.  please do not abondom them.  to comfort these innocent children... give them one big hug and tell them how much YOU LOVE THEM and that you will NEVER LEAVE THEM.  the scars that these innocent children will carry is something that only you can HELP BY LOVING THEM AND MAKING THEM FEEL THAT YOU WOULD NEVER LEAVE THEM..

excuse their parents as being sick and they are out getting better... when they get old enough to understand... they are still out there getting better. but the only thing that would help you... and heal them is loving them unconditionally.

i am speaking out of experience... i raised my two.  and raised my grandchildren  and i'm raising my great grandchildren.  with one exception... i helped my grandchildren move into an apartment (brother & sister) each with their own spouses.& step children... they got to make it work...  they want to in the worst way to come home to 'gma' as they call me...          

and GMA is always here.... but i refuse to carry their responsiblity.  how am i helping them,,, if i take it on... it wasn't easy for me... as it wasn't easy for my children.  i helped when i was able to.  both of the grandchildren belong to my son... who since moved on with a new family and left his behind... i stepped up.  i help financially when i can... but the best way i help... is ADVISE & i take the kids from time to time to give them a break.  but i refuse to carry it for them...           

these babies are in your care.... it is now up to you... if by chance the parents come back... you can keep an eye on the children and advise them as you're able to...

i hope my words serves you well.   ps... give them love and comforts... and when they ask for their parents... remember... they are sick and they are getting better... until that one doesn't work.    good luck.
Replied By: angielock on Mar 24, 2013, 10:52AM
I am 40 years old and I have 3 children of my own and 2 stepchildren and I have custody of them. My husband is currently working overseas and that leaves me with a houseful of teenagers. My oldest son is 21 and decided he wanted to get married to a girl who already had a 1 1/2 year old little girl. The reason he wanted to get married is because they were pregnant. I was not thrilled but I did support him and told him that he would have to step up and be a man and that his life would now be changed forever. I of course fell in love with my daughter in law and her precious little girl, and immediately accepted her as my grandchild. I was there when my biological granddaughter entered the world and she also captured my heart. As it is with any young couple who start out ill prepared, they began to have financial troubles. My husband and I brought them into our home and told them that they did not have to pay rent and that they could both go to college and earn degrees in order to really have a chance to step out in the world. At first it went great, they both seemed to be handling their responsibilities with the children and I stayed  out of their business and let them handle it. Unfortunately, as it often goes they started having trouble. Oh and I forgot to mention that the baby was born with a limbal dermoid on her cornea which caused her to lose vision in her eye so she had special needs that had to be met. My daughter in law started being gone for long periods of time and making trips to supposedly see her mother 3 hours away but would never take the children or my son. One day she left and did not come back, she left my son and her children for another young man. Not too long after this my son also left and moved the 3 hours back where they originally lived and he left the children with me. So now I have 4 teenagers and 2 children under the age of 5 and a husband overseas. The mother called a few times and saw them twice before she dropped out of the picture altogether. My son sees them every other weekend here at my house but still does not do what he needs to do either. We did seek and won custody of the baby in order to put her on our health insurance because she needed surgery for her eye. This was not a custody court battle it was agreed upon by my son and his wife. The oldest child just turned 4 and is not related to me by blood but I love her just the same. The situation with her is a bit more difficult because we are not related but I wanted to keep her and give her stability as well. Well it did not take long before the problem resolved itself, my daughter in law called me and asked me to adopt her. It makes me happy and sad all at the same time because the baby does not know her but the 4 year old remembers her and misses her so much. I do my best to try and help her understand but it is very hard to find the words for her young mind. I have tried my best to get my daughter in law to be a part of their lives and she just refuses. She now according to her mother isat hooked on drugs and just got arrested for financial card transaction fraud. It is a sad situation all around. The 4 year old has nightmares and tells me that monsters got her mommy. Several months ago she asked me to be her mommy. Last week I had her at the dentist and a little girl asked if I was her mommy and she replied " No my mommy did not want me so she left me with my NeNe" which is what she calls me. I asked her who had told her that her mommy did not want her and she said "nobody but her left so that means she don't want me" It breaks my heart into to see her ache for her mommy. I am looking for any suggestions on how to help her deal with this. It is very difficult for me to start over raising children at this point in my life but I am determined to give these girls the best life possible.
Replied By: black_rose1809 on Jan 31, 2013, 3:12PM
just recently, my sister in law died, was 28 years old, 3 months pregnant. She leaves my widowed older brother and her two children 2 year old boy and 4 year old girl. My brother was depressed, cried, and is still hurting. but now he refuses to see the children, left them under my mother, father and i's care.  we all have jobs and I have college classes, so it's hard to care for them. We would love to place them in day care and the 4 year old to school, but we can't because if we want the free day care and schooling, we need them under our guardianship. But the father is refusing to help, he doesn't care about how tired we are or if we have to work, all he cares is that the children are not with him and that's that. We don't know what to do, he doesn't work, and he threatens to take them away if we bother him with this. We don't know what to do...
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