The number of grandparents raising their grandchildren continues to rise in the United States. In fact, in 2018, there were over 2.7 million grandparents raising their grandchildren (United States Census Bureau). Grandparents raise their grandchildren for a variety of reasons including a loss of job for the child’s parents or military deployment, removal from home due to safety reasons, mental illness, incarceration, or death.
Raising grandchildren can be an overwhelming task. Grandparents may face a plethora of emotions when in this position. Some of these emotions may include grief, embarrassment, resentment, anger, and sadness. Grandparents may also experience health concerns, as such as higher rates of depression, sleeplessness, feelings of exhaustion, and health conditions like diabetes and hypertension. These grandparents may also feel isolated, as they feel there isn’t enough time to spend with other family members, their friends, and even as a couple with their spouse. Grandparents also may feel they’re not equipped with enough resources to raise their grandchildren.
It is normal to feel a multitude of emotion and uneasiness when taking on a new role. Seek out resources that can help in this new role of raising grandchildren. A therapist can help process the many emotions that may be experienced. Continue doctoring to help catch any health conditions that may come about with the different stressors you’re experiencing. Connect with support groups, such as a group geared for grandparents raising grandchildren. Connect with other parents, both young and older, who might be of encouragement when moments are tough. Reach out to the community in which you live in for child care so you can take a bit of time to recoup. Reach out to your Post Adopt Coordinator, as your coordinator can help with connecting you to resources that may be beneficial to check out. Most importantly, know that you’re not alone, and what you’re doing is so very valuable.
This blog post was written by Post Adopt Coordinator, Darcy Solem, LBSW
United States Census Bureau. 2019. https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=grandparents%20raising%20grandchildren&tid=ACSDT1Y2019.B10002&hidePreview=false