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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: 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...
Replied By: twhitaker on Dec 30, 2012, 11:41AM - In reply to spurtz56
My husband and I am raising my Grand daughter she will be 4 years old in March and it is not what we planned either, we both still work and have a very busy life and have been looking so forward to rest and relaxation but we have none of that.  My daughter her mother was a beatiful girl with her future ahead of her but at age 18 she started behaving very strange. She was diagonosed Schizophrenic so she is unable to care for her daughter.  Our grand child is precious and deserves a good life but with her mother I know that wouldnt happen even though I keep hoping some way things will change.  My home stays messed up all the time I dont remeber it being this hard working and raising my two kids but I just cant do what I use to.
Replied By: marblelake on Dec 17, 2012, 11:16AM
im a mom of 3 adult children. 5 years ago we recieved custody of 2 grandchildren. we adopted them their mom moved out of state. the story is complicated needless to say marriage problems...2 grandchildren with struggling overwhelmed most days. i thought i was doing right thing but the pressure is too great. most times i just check out. been in and out of therepy. feel like a wave washing in and out. as the kids get older and start to challenge disobey. i feel more pressure. my thoughts say i dont want to do this. idk its crap. my house is a zoo.
Replied By: ladyluck2449 on Nov 13, 2012, 7:52PM - In reply to spurtz56

I am a divorced grandmother that found myself raising four grandchildren at the age of 60.  They have been with me now for several is 6 years old and the other three are 3 years old now.  I would have to agree with the poster that it is very frustrating having these young children at my age.  I do not have much assistance so that makes the frustration much worse.  It is very hard to have any kind of break except to go to the grocery store when I can find someone to keep the children.  I know that is a lot of the problem with my frustration with the kids.  It can be extremely trying!!!!  It seems that the children require ALL my attention and do not want me doing anything.  Needless to say, my house and yard are a mess!  

Replied By: spurtz56 on Nov 8, 2012, 3:15PM
We are raising our 4 y.o granddaughter. This wasn't in our plan as we near retirement and those plans of relaxation and excitement. I think the difference is about 'choices'. We chose and planned for our children. We did not plan for this, and was somewhat blindsided. I thought my days of soccer practises, gymnastics and ballet were long gone, other than as a spectator for a grandchild. It is a struggle daily to change the mindset of being Gramma, to being, custodial Gramma, Preschool, non stop talking/questions and everything that comes with being a toddler. I often ask myself when frustration and exhaustion set it : Is it HER age? or is it MY age?
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