It is hard enough getting older and adjusting to whatever life brings your way, in addition you may be raising one or even a few of those who are younger than yourself, whether they be children, grandchildren or even great grandchildren.
According to a national study, 7 million children in the United States live under a grandparent’s care. Besides many legal complications you may face in raising and taking care of your younger loved ones, there are many questions you may face when raising grandchildren. How will I find the energy? How do I get them enrolled in school? How will I pay for the needs of the grandchild? How can I make my home safer?
During the transitional phase from you becoming a grandparent to a full-time parent to your grandchildren, you may face many difficulties.
Legally and Financially
Some financial assistance through your state may be available. It would be in your best interest to get legal guardianship of your grandchildren if you do not have it already. Legal guardianship does not terminate the parents’ parental rights and obligations, but it does give you legal custody. This means that you would have the legal right to make many decisions regarding their education and care. However, it may be sufficient to simply fill out a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit. This would allow you to get them into school and authorize school-related medical care.
Health and Wellness
It is often easy to forget to eat healthy and of course feed your grandchildren healthy as well. Eating poorly can cause not only physical challenges but mental ones as well. Eating well balanced meals with plenty of vegetables can aid in increased energy levels, decrease vitamin deficiencies and overall health for both you and your grandchildren.
Counseling, even only temporary, may help the family dynamic and help your grandchildren in adjusting to the new family situation. Regardless of the relationship between you and your grandchildren, it is common for a child to feel lost. Some counseling may help a child feel as if they have someone on their side to aid in their feelings.
If possible, the best thing to do for your grandchildren may be to let them remain in their current school. Your grandchildren may find stability in the school. If it is necessary to move them, wait as long as possible. If it is not possible, discuss the change in schools with your grandchildren and let them help in picking the new school so they feel a part of the process and develop a sense of ownership.
It is important to let your grandchildren feel as if they have a choice and are in some charge of their own lives. This may help your grandchildren feel a sense of ownership and as if their thoughts are input are meaningful rather than out of their control.