More and more children in this modern society are now living with their grandparents. While it might be good for many reasons, this kind of set up can also lead to numerous issues and challenges for the grandparents.
What are 5 problems that grandparents have raising their grandchildren?
Constraints in Finances
It is not an easy task for grandparents to raise their grandchildren if there are financial constraints and they are paying for everything from their own pocket.
This is because most grandparents live on fixed incomes with no extra monetary sources that can support the additional expenses involved in raising children.
There is a possibility that grandparents might find it hard to afford the child-rearing costs such as insurance, health care, childcare and other primary requirements of a child. There are even grandparents who decide to cut back on working hours, make some financial sacrifices, or even quit their jobs.
One of the main areas that involve significant expenses is none other than the education of the child. Grandparents need to look for ways to send their grandkids to school. They might even need to hire tutors who can help their grandchildren with their homework. They also need to look into individualized education plans and special education that might be a bit burdensome for them.
These grandparents might feel like they are treading on unknown waters when it involves their grandchildren’s education because the methods of childcare have significantly changed now compared to the times when they were parents.
Good thing that grandparents are not alone when it comes to navigating their finances. There are now many available resources that they can use and refer to address their educational concerns.
Mental Stress and Health-Related Concerns
Grandparents who raise their grandchildren usually harbor feelings of resentment and guilt towards their grown children as the main reason why their grandkids are going through such a pitiful situation. Many grandparents are not that prepared to deal with their sadness, grief, and anger and they also don’t know how to handle the emotional reactions they have towards what happened. If the grandkids suffered from pain and trauma, they often feel bad not only for their grandchildren but also for their own children.
There are also cases where the grandchildren may act out since they don’t really understand why they don’t get to live with Mom and Dad. It can often result to behavioral issues of grandkids that grandparents will have to deal with as well, all of which can lead to more mental stress.
Taking on the role of a parent all over again might also overwhelm some grandparents as they raise their grandchildren. There is a chance that they will feel like they cannot keep up with their grandkids because of their personal health issues or because their grandchildren are quite active.
In general, grandparents are old and some are suffering from chronic conditions that require them to get help with household chores that may make it tough for them to keep up with the high activity levels of young kids.
As a result of the task of raising their grandchildren, there are grandparents that might also suffer from health issues such as stomach and back problems, insomnia, hypertension, depression, and many others.
It is important for grandparents to learn how to take better care of themselves through paying attention to their wellness and health. This way, they will feel well enough to look after their grandkids. It is also advisable to take part in support groups when grandparents feel disappointed, ashamed, and angry towards the parents of their grandchildren so that they wouldn’t take out all the negativities on their grandchildren.
Issues with Other Family Members
The problem of grandparents who raise their grandchildren might also lead to issues with other grandkids in the family who live with their own parents.
It is because most grandchildren are expecting that their grandparents will just be traditional grandparents instead of acting as the parents of their cousins. This kind of situation might result to bitterness and rift among the grandkids.
There are times when it can get hard for grandparents to manage the parents of their grandchildren who might make impractical promises and unexpected visits.
Grandparents might also have a hard time in trying to keep their grandkids protected while still letting them meet or visit their parents. It might also cause disappointment in grandparents if they see their children failing as parents.
It would be very helpful if grandparents can manage to schedule a time for the whole family to bond together. This will be the perfect opportunity to show all family members about what and why they are doing things to get rid of any misunderstanding or confusion.
Lack of Social Life
Grandparents who raise their grandchildren usually lack the time for themselves because of packed parenting schedules they have. They may no longer have enough time to spend with the rest of the family and with their friends. They might also not be able to join community and church activities anymore.
To prevent this social isolation from happening, grandparents may look for a trustworthy baby sitter, childcare center, or a friend who can take over the responsibilities so they can have time to go out and socialize as they please.
Legal and Housing Concerns
Once grandparents are given the custody of their grandchildren, it can be an expensive, long, and frustrating process to get the birth certificates and other important documents then go to the court to get guardianship or apply for adoption.
There are also grandparents raising grandchildren who usually don’t live in homes complete with all the necessary facilities. Many of them are only living in tiny senior apartments that often don’t have room for children nor allow children in the first place. And those places that do allow kids only have a room that might require additional beds and furnishings.
There are grandparents who raise their grandchildren who also opt to downsize to a smaller home with a limited space just to create the necessary facilities for their grandkids.
These are just some of the common problems that grandparents face when raising their grandchildren. The good news is that they have their respective solutions that can make the experience for grandparents and grandkids alike.