Grandparents With Grandkids…What You Need To Know

Mar 14


Steve Wisley

Steve Wisley

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Why are so many grandkids living with their grandparents? There has been a major shift in our culture.


What happened?  You were just settling into the empty nest and everything was going smooth.  Now there is constant noise and problems,Grandparents With Grandkids…What You Need To Know Articles problems and more problems.  This is the life of a grandparent with grandkids.  Do we really need this?

You had thoughts of peaceful afternoons, catching up on the reading and taking walks in the park.  Now, its constant run the kids, fix the meal, wash the cloths, fix the next meal, and you still have to go to work. 

What happened?

Well, life happened.  Our culture is such that traditional lifestyles have been turned upside down.  In fact, according to the 2000 Census, 4.5 million grandkids live with their grandparent or grandparents.  You’ve seen it on Oprah and now you are living it.

Divorce is a major cause of displaced children.  Often, the mother is the custodial parent.  She is trying to juggle a job, find a place to call home, put her life back together, and raise the kids.  Sometimes it is just too much.

Drugs and alcohol often play a big part in reason for the grandchildren to be in your home and not their own.  They don’t have one, because their parents have chose to ignore their responsibility for their own lifestyle.  Poor choice, but that doesn’t change facts.

There are many other reasons, such as, financial, lack of interest in the child by the parents, death and, sad to say, abuse.

What do grandparents need to know.

You must know your legal rights.  Yes, I know you are dealing with your child as well as your grandchildren.  But, believe me things can get very sticky when dealing with family.

For your protection and the protection of your grandchildren you must know where you stand and what rights you have.

You must decide if you are going to keep the children for an extended period of time or for only a short period.  Sometimes we like to think this will be over soon and it lasts for a lifetime.  So, be aware.

It is best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  That way you will be presently surprised when things turn out great for everyone.

Where can you find info?

Unfortunately, there are few resources available at this time.  I don’t think society has caught up with this problem yet.  People just do not realize the magnitude of the problem grandparents are facing on a daily basis.  But, there are a few places you can go and I will detail some of those below.

  • Look for support from other family members, local and national organizations, your local church support groups and online forums.  Do not be too proud to let others know you need a little help.
  • Take care of yourself.  If you get discouraged and overwhelmed you cannot help your grandchildren and children.  You must meet your physical and emotional health needs.
  • Talk with a lawyer.  Not just any lawyer.  Not all lawyers are knowledgeable in this area.  You have to know your legal rights about caring for, and maybe custody of, your grandchildren.  Again, this is necessary to protect yourself and the kids.

I know it is not a job you asked for, but it is here.  You must arm yourself with all the knowledge you can find.  You can do this, I know you can.

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