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What Challenges Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Face


By with 36 comments
Grandparents sitting with their grandchildren

Often time’s grandparents raising grandchildren face many challenges that are not easy for them to deal with. However, grandparents raise their grandkids willingly and happily because they love them.

In an earlier post about  grandparents parenting grandchildren I talked about the reasons about why grandparents have to take the place of parents. Today’s post is about the problems that most grandparents face while raising grandchildren.

A grandparent’s role in the family as a ‘grandparent’ is important, and this is something that we as parents need to understand.

To let your parents remain as grandparents, you need to lessen the amount of work your parents do for your kids, and eventually reduce the challenges faced by grandparents bringing up grandchildren, which would solve a lot of problems.

“They say genes skip generations. Maybe that’s why grandparents find their grandchildren so likeable.” ~ Joan McIntosh

Difficulties Faced by Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

There are many challenges for grandparents while raising grandchildren mainly because they are called upon to parent a second time around unexpectedly.

Let us try to understand some of these challenges:

1- Financial constraints

The bringing up of grandchildren by their grandparents is not an easy task where finances are concerned, if they later have to do it completely on their own.

This is because grandparents may be living on a fixed income or have no additional source of income to support the extra expenses involved.

Grandparents may not be able to afford additional costs associated with raising a child like health care, insurance, child-care, and providing for the main requirements of the child. Some of them may have to quit their jobs, make financial sacrifices, or cut back on hours.

Helpful Tip: The finance a person has varies a great deal, but here is wonderful list of possible sources for financial aid for grandparents involved in bringing up grandchildren. However, you would need to check out if they are available in your area.

2- Health problems

Becoming a parent again can be overwhelming for grandparents raising their grandchildren. They may not feel that they can keep up with their grandchildren due to health concerns or because the kids are very active.

Grandparents are generally old and could have chronic conditions warranting help with chores at home, and thereby may find it tough to keep up with young kids.

Due to the task of raising their grandkids, some grandparents experience health problems like hypertension, depression, insomnia, back and stomach problems, and others.

Helpful Tip: Grandparents need to take care of themselves by taking care of their health and wellness, so that they are well enough to take care of their grandchildren.  You can visit this site that provides healthcare coverage and more details.

3- Mental stress

Grandparents who are raising grandkids often deal with feelings of guilt and resentment towards their own grown-up child for being the cause of the pitiable state of their grandchildren.

Most grandparents are not well prepared to handle the anger, grief, and sadness, nor are they able to handle their emotional reactions about what has happened. They feel bad for their grandkids and children if the grandchildren experience trauma and pain.

Sometimes the grandchildren act out because they don’t understand the reason for not being able to live with their parents. This often leads to behavioral problems of grandchildren that grandparents have to deal with, causing the latter mental stress.

Helpful Tip: Join support groups if you feel anger, shame or disappointment towards your grandchildren’s parents, so that you don’t take it all out on your grandchildren.

4- Social isolation

Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren often do not find time for themselves due to the tight parenting schedules; neither are they left with enough time for other family members and friends, nor are they able to take part in church and community activities.

Helpful Tip: Find a trusted childcare center, babysitter, or a friend to take over so that you can socialize and move out when you wish to. Being with friends and family, and reading online magazines or other resources can help keep away depression and stress.

5- Family issues

The issue of grandparents raising some grandchildren may also cause problems with the other grandchildren in the family who are living with their own parents.

This is because the grandchildren expect their grandparents to be traditional grandparents, and not act as ‘parents’ to their cousins. Such a situation can cause rift and bitterness among the grandchildren.

Sometimes it gets tough for grandparents to manage their grandchildren’s parents, who may make unexpected visits and impractical promises.

Grandparents may also struggle with trying to protect their grandchildren, while still allowing them to visit or meet their parents. And this may disappoint grandparents to see their child not succeed as a parent.

Helpful Tip: It helps a great deal if grandparents manage to create a family bonding time to convey to everyone else in the family about why and what they are doing to clear off air of confusion or misunderstanding.

6- Housing issues

Many grandparents who are raising grandchildren often don’t live in houses with all the required facilities. Most of them live in small senior apartments, which neither have room for kids, nor allow kids. And those who do permit kids have room that may require other furnishings and beds.

Some grandparents who have to raise their grandkids choose to downsize to smaller houses with limited space in their homes in order to create facilities for their grandchildren.

Helpful Tip: Help can be found for some grandparents dealing with housing issues here.

7- Legal hassles

When grandparents take the custody of the grandchildren, then getting hold of their birth certificates and other documents, and going to the court for adoption or to get guardianship can be a long, frustrating, and expensive process.

Helpful Tip: All answers to legal aspects of raising grandchildren can be found here.

8- Education concerns

Grandparents, in order to bring up their grandchildren, may have to find out ways to help kids enroll in school. They would also have to get tutors to help with their homework, and learn more about special education and individualized education plans, which might become a cumbersome task for them.

Such grandparents may even feel out of touch with what’s happening in their grandchildren’s school, as the child care methods have changed considerably since when they were parents.

Helpful Tip: Grandparents brining up their grandkids can find help regarding educational concerns and find some good sources about school health here.

“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.” ~ Rudolph Giuliani

Tips for Grandparents Parenting Grandchildren

The challenges of grandparents in raising their grandchildren may seem like a daunting and uphill task, but there is help out there in the form of support groups and provisions.

Being grandparents, they have the additional duty to bring up their grandchildren in their parent’s absence, apart from playing the role of a grandparent. Grandparents need to remember to care for their grandchildren as they may have suffered some neglect or abuse from their own parents.

These kids may feel afraid and insecure, or may be angry at their situation, or could even be embarrassed to talk about it. They may take some time to feel safe and secure.

Though grandparents are familiar with parenting children, the fact is that was a long time ago. So, grandparents who have to raise grandchildren might find these tips handy:

  • Plan out a daily routine of mealtimes, bedtime, and other activities so that the kids learn to have some certainty in their lives.
  • Make them feel at home by giving them a place to call their own, like giving them a room for them and their belongings. Make your home welcoming, safe, and child-friendly for them.
  • Take special care of younger grandkids by providing nutritious food, and read to them every day.
  • Keep the immunization of your grandkids up-to-date.
  • Communicate with your grandchildren and ensure they know they can talk to you when they feel like, because poor communication leads to relationship problems later in life.
  • Help grandchildren practice safety by catering to the needed equipment, and be a role model in every act of habit, like always eat your meals on the table, or buckle the seat belts, etc.
  • Make a few rules, explain it to the children, and enforce them consistently but lovingly.
  • Where the grandchildren’s parents are concerned, set a good example by peacefully working out argument.
  • Seek out appropriate services as soon as possible, if the grandchild has special needs.
  • Monitor movie, music, television, and the use of computers used by grandchildren.
  • Most importantly, make the grandchild feel loved, important, and cared for. And don’t forget to spend good family time with them.

These tips serve as a recap for grandparents, but they can be handy for any parent, and to-be parents, as it’s all about good parenting.

Becoming a parent once again can be a tiring and challenging task for grandparents raising grandchildren. It can also be a memorable and rewarding time if resources are used and support groups are utilized.

Research indicates that perhaps grandparents who are raising their grandchildren make better parents than they did when they were parents themselves, because they are now more emotionally stable, mature, and willing to sacrifice much more.

Resources for Grandparents Bringing Up Grandchildren

There is a wonderful article about grandparents who are raising grandchildren and which tells about how grandparents can cope and succeed.

Also, websites like grandparenting.org , grandfamilies.org, and AARP.org are available to access the resources that give ample information to help grandparents raise their grandchildren.

Grandparents can visit sites here and here for more help and information to achieve their aim of successfully raising their grandchildren.

“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.”  ~ Lois Wyse

As a grandparent you should be proud of your accomplishments in raising your grandchildren and they may be a wonderful source of happiness for you. And of course they would learn to love, respect, and value your sacrifice much more when they grow up.

Speaking of my parents, who are wonderful grandparents to my kids – they do all in their hands to make their lives worth-while, whenever we visit them. Thus, my kids always love to go to their grandparent’s place more than wanting to stay with us!

I salute all grandparents as well as grandparents who are devoted in raising their grandchildren, who have taken up this wonderful responsibility, which is not an easy task. Such grandparents are truly the ones who deserve to be called “grand”! (I know you’re nodding in agreement!)

Over to you-

As grandparents raising grandchildren or parenting once again, what are the challenges that you face or had faced? If you are a parent or have fond memories of your grandparents raising you, feel free to share your personal experiences and views in the comment below.

 

Photo Credit: Amy Mckenzie


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About Harleena Singh

Harleena Singh is a positive thinker and a freelance writer. She loves to write inspiring and thought provoking posts on self-improvement, family, relationships, health, and other aspects of life. She's not another personal development guru, but just an average person with great life experiences. She's also a blogger, who loves to share her blogging knowledge and experiences. Network with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+..

36 Comments

  1. Annie Andre

    May 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I’ve never thought about having grandparents raise their children but after reading your post on the issue it really got me to think.

    I have one friend in the U.S. who lives with her mother after she got divorced. She has 2 children and so her parents (her childrens grandparents) help raise the kids. Pick them up after school, cook, drive them places, discipline them.. I remember being around them and thinking I was a bit sad for the grandparents because they obviously had some ailments and had to do a lot more physical work cleaning the house after the kids. Cooking larger meals.

    They also had to play the role of disciplinarian to the kids. Instead of spoiling them and then handing them back at night to the parents they had to be there all the time.

    It’s a tough spot to be in.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this issue, very eye opening.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 26, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Glad you could relate to the post Annie!

      Grandparents our end also don’t raise grandchildren in the real sense, though they are an important part of the family. But some families do have them raise their gandchildren due to various reasons, which at times can become cumbersome for them.

      In the case of your friend, because she is divorced- I think her parents have to intervene to help her and their grandchildren come back to normal once again. But yes, over time we tend to take them for granted and expect them to do everything for our kids, which is not right I feel. I think grandparents raising grandchildren isn’t correct, unless they are helping out for a while. They are best when they play the role of grandparents, as I have such fond memories of my grandparents spoiling us more than disciplining us!

      It is indeed a tough spot for grandparents to be in when they have to raise their own grandchildren, even when they don’t want to. I guess they want to help their own children in whatever way they can and by parenting or bringing up their kids, grandparents play their part, though some of them do go through lot of troubles too.

      Thanks for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to have you over. :)

  2. Annie

    May 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    As always, your blog touched my heart.

    Yes, ‘grand’ is the best word to describe those caring for grandchildren. Your writing is special and unique. Continue to spread the love.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 27, 2012 at 8:12 am

      Glad the post touched your heart Annie!

      I do believe that the amount grandparents do for their grandchildren is what makes them truly ‘grand’, something that isn’t easy- yet they do it for the love of their own – isn’t it?

      Thanks for the warm and kind words. Always a pleasure to have you over. :)

  3. Lynne Butler

    May 27, 2012 at 5:19 am

    Lots of food for thought in this article.

    One thing I’d like to add to the “legal difficulties” section is that of estate planning. It used to be that if parents died, their minor children could legally demand that they be supported by the parents’ estate. This is still the case of course, but now the law is changing so that children raised by their grandparents can also claim against the grandparents’ estate. So, if a child is being raised by his grandparent and the grandparent passes away and does not leave a share of the estate to the grandchild, the grandchild can contest the will. Not many grandparents have wills that leave their estates to their grandchildren, so this could come as a surprise to many.

    This, as I say, is a newer change and is NOT the law yet everywhere. However it is being brought in as law in some places and, given the number of kids being raised by grandparents, will continue to be brought in as law in more and more places. I urge any grandparent raising a grandchild to see an estate planning lawyer and ask specifically whether their grandchild could contest their will.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 27, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Welcome to the blog Lynne!

      Thanks for this wonderful piece of information for all my readers. I hope this new law is applicable in most countries. As far as I know, at our end the grandchildren are a natural heir and do have a share to their paternal grandparents estate. As you say, this is really an important aspect to reflect upon and plan about for all grandparents who are raising their grandchildren in the light of the new amendments in the laws. I hope this brings some positive hopes to all the affected grandchildren.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. :)

  4. Corinne Rodrigues

    May 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I have two blogging friends who because of various problems that their children are having are now looking after their grandchildren. Your article would be very useful to them, and I will certainly pass it on. Thanks, Harleena.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 28, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Glad you could resonate with the post Corinne!

      It must be tough for your friends to do all the looking after of their grandchildren, which isn’t easy at their age when they would just rather have preferred to be playing the role of grandparents to them.

      Thanks for stopping by and passing on the article to your friends, whom I hope it helps in some ways.:)

  5. Nikky44

    May 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    It’s a very interesting post.

    I am far from being grandparent yet, but I can relate as I was raised by my grandparent and my eldest daughter has lived with her grandparents for the first 3 years of her life.

    The tips you have given are great and the different issues are very realistic, but we can also remember so many different positive aspects for the grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Sometimes those kids bring hope again to their life.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Glad you found the post interesting and could relate to it Nikky!

      I think you understand things much better when you have lived with grandparents, because you know all that they undergo as you can place yourself in their shoes.

      Yes indeed, there are many positive aspects that can’t be overlooked, though I just pray that grandparents are allowed to relax while enjoying being grandparents, rather than disciplining or taking care of their grandchildren all the time.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  6. david

    May 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I feel sad to think that a grandparent has to take on this added responsibility when they should be enjoying their golden years. But I guess that is life.

    Sometimes the parents pass away, or have such terrible problems that they just are not capable of raising the children. In fact, they could actually be a terrible example for the child to grow up with.

    Grandparents bring emotional and mental maturity that the papent may not have. This is a benefit to the child. I guess grandparents should be ready to step in if necessary. Because, sometimes it is necessary.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Glad that you could relate to the post David!

      Some grandparents are doing all the looking after and literally parenting their grandchildren, when ideally they ought to be enjoying them. To a certain extent sometimes it’s required, but at other times it’s just because of the wrong ways their kids are going that leaves grandparents with no choice but to take care of the grandkids.

      Yes indeed, sometimes due to unavoidable circumstances grandparents have to raise grandchildren, whether they want to or not. The children of course do benefit from their grandparents raising them for most angles, but it’s the grandparents who have to face all the challenges and difficulties while doing so. I just wish parents take up the responsibility on their own rather than leaving their parents the burden of raising their kids.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  7. Becca

    May 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I know and I saw how hard it was for my grandparents to raise my 4 cousins since their parents died. The number 1 problem is the discipline especially in boys. Parents discipline is really different.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2012 at 1:31 am

      Glad you could resonate with the post Becca!

      It must have been very hard for your grandparents to raise four kids due to the death of their parents. And yes, disciplining kids isn’t always easy as you need to be strict with them, which grandparents don’t really like to do if given a choice.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  8. Laura Lilovich

    May 28, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for this article. I could not have said it better. :) Laura

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2012 at 1:32 am

      Welcome to the blog Laura!

      Glad you liked the post and thanks for stopping by. :)

  9. Adrienne

    May 29, 2012 at 12:08 am

    I know Harleena when I’m not in this situation or I don’t know of anyone personally who is, it’s hard for me to relate.

    I was watching a show the other night on TV and although it was fictional, it really broke my heart. This young woman was 15 years old and was raised by her grandfather after her parents (his son) were killed in a car accident when she was young. The grandfather was now very ill and she had been caring for him for the past year. She was rebelling due to losing him too.

    I know it was just a TV show but I know real families face these same difficulties. My heart goes out to anyone who is willing to take in children to raise as their own. Like you said, most grandparents will do it because it’s their flesh and blood and they love them.

    It can just really put a big burden on the elderly because that is the time they should be able to enjoy what life they have left. But then again, I know a lot of them would rather be with their family.

    Thank you for always making us think about things Harleena. To me, there’s nothing like family.

    ~Adrienne

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2012 at 2:13 am

      That’s absolutely alright Adrienne!

      It is good that you haven’t really come across anyone or know any grandparents facing any challenges raising grandchildren.

      I also get moved seeing or hearing such stories on TV or otherwise, and yes, most grandparents are willing and happy to raise their grandchildren because of the love of their grandchildren. And yes, we can never really say what their kids undergo that compels grandparents to raise the grandchildren.

      I just wish parents would realize and value their parents and not really burden them with grandchildren, instead let them just enjoy being grandparents. Yes indeed, there is nothing like family. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. :)

  10. Jodi

    May 29, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Informative post, and very into detail.

    I work with many grandparents raising their grandchildren and find they do have these difficulties. Kids today are different, more ‘entitled’ this is often hard. Worry that the children have been traumatized- so often grandparents think that is why they act this way, but it’s really culture.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Glad you liked the post Jodi!

      Grandparents who bring up their grandchildren do face challenges that aren’t easy at their age, when ideally they should be enjoying their grandchildren instead of parenting and disciplining them. Yes, kids nowadays aren’t easy to understand, nor are they that willing to adapt and adjust to changes. It’s mostly the grandparents who have to do the adjusting part, because they know that those kids have undergone a lot and they are after all their very own.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  11. Donna Merrill

    May 29, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Hi Harleena,

    What a great topic to bring up. Here in the U.S. I do know many grandparents that are raising their grandchildren. My mom did. I silently watched because I was judgemental about it, but respected her choice. She raised my niece and nephew. I watched her get sick, loose money, even loose her home. She gave everything to them. I, personally thought it was a bad idea because she was older and sickly. But I did understand that she “needed” to do that. Their parents couldn’t raise them because of drug problems.

    My mom took over single handedly and took them to school, doctors, everything. Even went through all the legal loopholes in order to be a “guardian” to them. Now, that they are grown, I see my mom come to life again. She lives in a community where there are people her age. She has friends and is enjoying herself for the first time in her 80’s!

    I am grateful for that.

    -Donna

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Glad you could resonate with the topic Donna!

      You mom surely has been a wonderful grandparent by raising her grandchildren, having undergone so much while doing so, which must not have been easy for her as she wasn’t all that young. And at that age they need all the rest, care, and attention themselves. But yes, just as you mentioned, their parents weren’t in that position to raise their own kids, which is when your mom stepped in and took over even though she herself wasn’t all that well enough, because she loved them.

      Hats-off to your mom to have managed everything so well and doing it all alone too! I am glad she’s back to her old self now once the kids have found their own ways. And I’m sure they must be grateful to her for all that she’s done for them. Hope and pray she continues to enjoy her life.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with everyone. :)

  12. Anne

    May 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    All the problems you highlighted here are valid and affect so many grandparents raising their grand kids.
    A large number of grandparents I know who’re struggling with their grand kids (even part-time) battle with health issues.
    I pass an old lady each morning, taking her grandson into school. She only looks after him part-time, but her legs are so painful, she can hardly walk. Add to this, the school is on a hill which gives me a difficult time to get up it.

    I really respect grandparents who take on this role and do it well. My husband and I took full responsibility for our kids (which is only our duty) so the grandparents had the pleasure of just enjoying them and handing them back. It’s the way it should be and I hope I don’t ever have to raise grand kids. I’d like to love them, enjoy them and just be a grand parent when the time comes (my kids are still young).

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Glad you could relate with the post Anne!

      Grandparents bringing up their grandchildren do face many challenges and have to undergo a lot of problems. Just as the old lady you mentioned who has to walk her grandson to school daily has to bear so much of pain in her legs, even though it’s just part-time looking after she’s doing. I guess there must be some reason as to why she has to bear all this pain and do such work at her age, which surely isn’t easy.

      It’s always better that parents look after their own kids, and grandparents are left alone to just enjoy playing their role as grandparents, which is what we also do in our family. But yes, when and if the need arises, grandparents do step in to help, though that should be for some time alone, so that they don’t face many problems.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  13. Sylviane Nuccio

    May 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Grandparents are very important, indeed. I know of many people, as a matter of fact, who are much better grandparents then they were parents. It seems that their heart soften and they intelligence improved as they grew older, thus made them better GRAND partents than parents.

    Of course the ideal situation is to leave grandparents in that role and not in the role of parents, but might that turn to be the case, your post gives very good advice on the subject.

    I think that as one of your quotations mentioned here, grandparents are the link between a generation to another and how much I would love to have my grand parents to ask them so many questions that I have now.

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      Harleena Singh

      May 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Glad you could relate to the post Sylviane!

      Yes indeed, a few grandparents do manage to raise their grandkids much better than their own kids. I guess that’s because they have more time in hand and have gained the experience of parenting over the years, though that’s not something we as parents need to take advantage of- isn’t it?

      Even though my dad is a wonderful grandparent to my kids, I can never even think of leaving him with the responsibility of raising my kids unless of course there is some kind of emergency or requirement. And I prefer that he spoils and pampers them just like all grandparents do, which is what makes grandparents so special.

      Grandparents are great links between one generation to another as they are able to share the knowledge and wisdom that they learnt with us and their grandchildren, something that all of us look forward to.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  14. sandy

    May 31, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I was raised by my grandparents till the age of five and I still have beautiful memories today. I miss my grandmother who had passed away when I was twelve.

    Enjoy your vacation,

    Sandy

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      Harleena Singh

      May 31, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Glad you could relate to the post Sandy!

      I guess you would treasure those fond memories of your grandmother forever, something that I value a great deal also even though I wasn’t raised by them. But yes, whenever little time we stayed with them was good enough for us.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  15. Deeone Higgs

    May 31, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I agree with you, Harleena, that there are definitely some curves grandparents have to take into consideration in raising their grandchildren. Many times, they have simply seen a need, and don’t see anyone else in place to fill it for their grandchild, but them.

    Of course, you know, my grandmother was the main influence in my life; and although she didn’t raise me all the way through my schooling years, she still was very much in my life where she could be.

    I know we live in an age where it takes money to raise children, and I feel totally blessed that I felt her presence in my life when I did… I’m not sure of the person I would be today, hadn’t she not stepped in and said, “I’ll do it… I’ll be the responsible person in his life.” Even though she didn’t have the funds, the energy, or time to devote solely to me – I never knew she didn’t have them too, until I was an adult. She did what she did, because she wanted to do it. For that, I will always be grateful. :)

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      Harleena Singh

      June 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Glad you resonate with the post Deeone!

      Yes indeed, often times when grandparents raise their grandchildren – it is out of the need or requirement because there is no one else to do it, or because the parents of the children are facing problems. However, I do wish and pray that when this is not the case, parents take up the responsibility of their own kids and let grandparents enjoy their role as grandparents alone.

      Your grandmother surely did a wonderful job of raising you, which mustn’t have been easy for her. And that’s why she holds a especial place in your heart – isn’t it?

      Children often never know the reasons as to why their own parents can’t or are unable to raise them till they grow up. I guess they must be missing their parents around them, but would be happy that they are being raised by their grandparents. And I do marvel at those grandparents who step in to raise their grandchildren, even though they have to face so many challenges. I guess it’s the love they have for their grandchildren that makes them volunteer so willingly.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with everyone. :)

  16. Mary

    June 4, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    This is an informative post, which I am glad to have read. I found it through Corinne (big thanks to her, by the way).

    My mother is helping take care of my sister’s sons (my nephews) because she and her husband both work the graveyard shift here. Actually she lives with my sister. It’s created a lot of issues for everyone in the family but we have all come to accept the situation and looked for the positives in it instead. One reason we’ve accepted it is because we know that should anything happen to my mother because of her health problems there would be someone around to help her. The other is that entrusting the care of my nephews to strangers is just too risky. It would also have made my mother worry and worsen her hypertension.

    While the ideal would have been for her to be in her own home enjoying her sunset years rather than help raise my nephews, the family has accepted the reality that we found ourselves in and made the best out of it. I do feel a little jealous sometimes because I wish she could spend more time with my kids. I didn’t get the chance to know my grandparents while I was growing up and I felt that I could have learned so much from their wisdom and life lessons. That said, we have found a way to keep her connected with the other grandchildren so she gets to enjoy them, too.

    Again, I’m glad to have read your post. Thank you for sharing it.

    Warmest regards,
    Mary from the Philippines

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      Harleena Singh

      June 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Welcome to the blog Mary!

      Glad you found the post informative, and yes a big thanks to Corinne for having connected us here. :)

      Your mother is surely doing a commendable job in helping to raise her grandsons, even though she has health problems including hypertension, and I’m sure you must be so proud of her. I guess at times like this is it the grandparents love for their kids and grandkids that makes them step forward and take charge, knowing that their grandchildren would be safer under their care and guidance than instead of a strangers.

      It’s nice that your family has learnt to accept the things as they are, which must have been something that your mother would have wanted too. Yes, ideally she would have loved staying in her own house and enjoying just playing the role of a grandparent, rather than raising her grandchildren.

      Ahh… a little bit of jealously is normal I think, because we all want that our kids also learn some good things from our parents, and just as you mentioned, you missed out on all of this because you didn’t get a chance to live with your grandparents- so all the more reason you would want that your kids experience the love, care, affection, attention, and all the wonderful things grandparents do for their grandchildren. But I’m glad you found ways to get her to catch up all the other grandchildren in the family.

      However, I do wish that your sister and husband find ways or means where there is not much of a problem for your mom while she helps raise her grandchildren, or perhaps they could hire a caretaker or other help to help your mother to do things around, so that she’s not left alone to manage affairs. It isn’t easy at her age I’m sure.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  17. Cathy

    June 7, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Hi Harleena,

    This is such an important topic. Parents can be in the midst of an addiction and their life has spun out of control. Their children are the innocent victims and grandparents must step in and take on the responsibility. I as well “salute all grandparents as well as grandparents who are devoted in raising their grandchildren.” Thank you for sharing your tips and resources.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 7, 2012 at 1:15 pm

      Glad you liked this topic of discussion Cathy!

      There can be so many reasons as to why parents can’t raise their own kids, which is when grandparents take over the role of raising their grandchildren for the love they have for both, their own kids and grandkids as well. But as long as there are valid reason it’s alright, otherwise where grandparents are literally forced to or given the responsibility to raise their grandchildren, even when it’s possible for their own parents to do the same – it’s a sad story.

      Yes, the children are the ones who suffer the most as they really don’t know whether they should be with their parents or grandparents, and how they are supposed to deal with the situation they are in. It isn’t easy for the children, parents, nor the grandparents who have to face so many challenges while they bring up their grandchildren – yet they do it, for which we do need to ‘salute’ and appreciate them and their efforts.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  18. John Ernest

    July 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    I really think Grandparents should not be burdened with raising children. They are too weak to play and give the proper punishments for their grandchildren which would be evident as grandparents are naturally less stricter than the actual parents. Thanks for sharing!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      July 16, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Glad you could resonate with the post John!

      I also wish that Grandparents weren’t burdened with raising Grandchildren. However, that’s not the case as most Grandparents step in to help out their own kids in time of need and are more than willing to bring up their Grandchildren.

      Yes, where parents can look after their own kids, in those cases Grandparents shouldn’t be burdened with this task. What works best, if at all Grandchildren need someone to look after them is parents providing additional working help, which can be supervised by Grandparents. This would lessen the burden of Grandparents to quite an extent.

      And yes, disciplining their own Grandchildren does become tough for Grandparents. They are best left to play the role of loving Grandparents who like pampering their Grandchildren more than disciplining them.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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