Grandparents & Parenting: Doing It For The Second Time
Today, grandparents are finding themselves primary caregivers for their grandchildren more than ever before. With high divorce rates, growing numbers of teen pregnancies, the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS, and the prevalence of illegal drug use, many grandparents are thrust into the situation of parenting all over again.
Parenting your adult child and your grandchild at the same time is a delicate situation, but there are few basic pieces of advice that will enable you to navigate it as best you can.
Single parenting and divorce are the most common ways in which a grandparent takes on parenting duties for their grandchildren. When dealing with a divorce situation, it's important to stay outwardly neutral so as to keep things amicable between all of the parties involved. You want what's best for your child and your grandchild, which may mean visits with both the child's parents at separate times. Because authority can become blurred when there are multiple caregivers, setting guidelines for discipline that everyone can agree on is important in maintaining consistency for your grandchild.
If your child is a single parent, your role may be even more active. Be sure to voice any difficulties that may arise in caring for a youngster. Many grandparents who take on parent roles may not be able to keep up with the energy levels of a child. If you're in a position to, consider offering your adult child financial support for adequate childcare.
If you're a grandparent who is raising your grandchild or helping your child in the process, it's easy to forget to take care of yourself. When you're not healthy, support becomes that much harder. More useful than any advice, however, is the love that you give to your grandchild, as feeling important and nurtured greatly increases a child's wellbeing.