Raising the selfless, giving grandchild
Aug 24, 2012, 8:38 a.m.
According to the U.S. Census, there are more than 2.7 million households with grandparents raising grandchildren. Although these caring grandparents undoubtedly love their grandchildren, becoming parents again may not be exactly how they envisioned spending their retirement years. Nevertheless, grandparents caring for grandchildren is becoming more and more common in the U.S.
If you are among the grandparents raising grandchildren, or know someone who is, you are aware there can be many challenges involved in this special circumstance. When grandparents become the full time parent to their grandchildren, there are typically some issues involved that can affect the children and put emotional stress on them. Often the child has been separated from their parents due to major issues and problems with the child's living environment and needed to be moved for reasons that can be traumatic. This may involve the death of a parent, a mental illness, abuse or neglect, alcohol or drug abuse, or they are simply not able to care for their children. No matter the circumstances, the effects can be devastating to a child.
It seems almost impossible to raise a selfless, giving grandchild under these set of circumstances, but grandparents caring for grandchildren is working well for these kids. According to a study by Solomon and Marx, both professors of Sociology, grandchildren raised by their grandparents were found to be healthy and have performances at or above the same academic level as children living with a single or re-married parent. The study also shows that there were less behavioral problems in students with grandparents caring for grandchildren than with children that were brought up in other non-traditional households.
In fact, grandparents seem to be doing an exceptional job of raising healthy, giving, caring, and secure children. Grandparents are genuine role models for their grandkids by giving them unconditional love and acceptance when their parents have not been able to do so. This shows the children how to be selfless and giving individuals and how to love and care for a family. Grandparents raising grandchildren are able to provide the stability and predictability needed to mold these children into healthy and happy adults who will in turn have a better appreciation for the unconditional love they received.
If you are grandparents raising grandchildren, you might also be experiencing an unexpected phase of self renewal through raising your grandchildren. Helping them feel secure and watching them develop self respect, esteem, and confidence surely brings happiness and satisfaction to you as grandparents. This situation also gives grandparents the opportunity to instill important values, nurture family relationships, and add to family histories and traditions.
Although it is not the optimal situation, grandparents caring for grandchildren can be a rewarding and wonderful experience. Grandparents have a strong familial bond with their grandchildren and despite many challenges, can raise a selfless and giving child.
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