THE IMPORTANCE OF GRANDPARENTS

Grandparents have always played an essential role in bringing up children, but nowadays, more people rely on their parents to help them with their kids. The unconditional love of grandparents benefits children in many ways. A grandparent’s love and warmth creates a special bond between both generations. Most important, it gives them a feeling of comfort and security.

….FULL ARTICLE

BUILDING A LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR GRANDCHILDREN

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right? Phooey, it stinks! Forming and maintaining bonds with grandchildren long distance can be challenging and sometimes frustrating. Luckily, technology helps bridge the gap of physical distance.

….FULL ARTICLE

ENJOYING ROAD TRIPS WITH GRANDCHILDREN

The summer months provide the perfect opportunity to spend extra time with your grandchildren. Perhaps a week at Grandma and Grandpa’s house is something the children look forward to every year, but this summer, why not go on a little adventure? Road trips can create a whole new family experience, something the children will remember forever.

….FULL ARTICLE

Use the buttons below to scroll through more great articles from Living Well 60 + Magazine

MORE ARTICLES

Be Sociable, Share!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Bookmarks Share on LinkedIn Share on LiveJournal Share on Newsvine Share on Reddit Share on Stumble Upon Share on Tumblr

MORE ARTICLES

CONTACT INFORMATION

© Living Well 60+ Magazine - All rights reserved | Design by PurplePatch Innovations

MORE FROM ROCKPOINT PUBLISHING

LIVING WELL 60+ MAGAZINE

HOME | FEATURE ARTICLES | COLUMN ARTICLES | DIGITAL ISSUES | CALENDAR | DIRECTORY | ABOUT | CONTACT

subscribe to living Well 60+

Money has to be the top problem for most second-time-around parents. Food, clothing and medical expenses suddenly increase enormously, but the Social Security check does not increase. Yet many grandparents would not have it any other way. They do not want strangers raising their own flesh and blood.


In Kentucky, relatives parenting children not their own may want to contact Legal Aid of the Bluegrass at (859) 233-4556 to get help. This would include information on the Senior Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) that assists seniors in accessing Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps and other government programs.


Substitute parents may also find helpful information by attending the low-cost, one-day Grandparents As Parents (GAP) conference held each March in Lexington. Call (859) 257-5582 or go to www.gapofky.org for more information.

Usually, having to take full parental responsibility for your grandchildren or other children not your own comes with little warning. Grandparents often cartwheel into a world of child neglect and abuse, court proceedings and drug addiction they never knew existed. Grandparents need fast, accurate answers to their questions.


In sorrow and love they take in the little refugees created by military deployment, fatal accidents, incarceration or mental illness. However, 80 percent to 90 percent of the cases where grandparents find themselves raising their children’s children happen because of the biological parents’ addictions to drugs and alcohol.


One of the first things grandparents or others stepping in as fulltime parents should do is go to family court and prove to the judge that it is in the best interests of the child for someone other than the birth parents to have custody and to be awarded that custody. Custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means being able to make decisions for the child – where the child goes to school, what doctor the child sees in case of illness – or to give permission for the child to play a sport at school that might result in injury. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, eats and sleeps. Sole custody, sometimes called full custody, gives you both legal and physical custody of your relative child. With full custody, grandparents

GRANDPARENTS AS PARENTS

have the complete say on everything.


One important effect of having full custody is lowered stress for the child. Many of these children live in fear they will be abruptly dragged back into the abusive situation they have escaped. If a court has awarded the grandparents custody, the natural parents cannot show up without warning and say, “He’s my kid. I’m taking him now.” At least there will have to be a hearing first.


Children coming out of neglect and abuse sometimes need special parenting methods. Little children often conclude from their experiences in the chaos of a dysfunctional home that adults cannot be trusted, that adults never do what they say they will do. Sometimes children who move from the custody of drunken and/or drug addicted parents to Grandma’s are amazed to find that she doesn’t live in her car and they come home to the same house every day. They are surprised to learn when Grandma says, “We will have dinner at 6 p.m.,” that is when they eat. Sometimes imposing a rigid schedule, at least at first, is helpful in parenting a young child who has been abused or neglected.

MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

Martha Evans Sparks is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by martha evans sparks