Monday, September 4, 2017

Grandparents, Great-Grandparents Parenting Again (Research, 2:41 Video)

The number of grandparents raising children continues to increase in America. There are more than 13 million children living in homes with their grandparents. Without grandparents' loving support, many children’s lives would be in great jeopardy. But these grandparents’ own health and quality of life are often put at risk for declining after they make that child-rearing commitment. These are some of the statistics about grandparents raising grandchildren. I have listed a few below:

1)  There are 2.7 million grandparents raising grandchildren.
2)  Two events have contributed to large spikes in this statistic: the recession that occurred between 2007-2009 and the epidemic of crack use in the late 1980′s.
3)  Custodial grandchildren have higher levels of behavioral and emotional problems than children in the average US population.
4)  Families that have a grandparent raising a grandchild help to save taxpayers over $6 billion each year because they keep those children out of the foster care system.
5)  With 1 out of every 5 households in poverty, it is essential for grandparents to be given the information they need to access resources in their community to get resources they need. When this can happen, many grandchildren are given an extra chance to succeed. AARP offers several supportive resources.

While it is common now to read about the millions of grandparents raising grandchildren, very little is mentioned about great-grandparents in similar circumstances. Imagine parenting again after 65 years of marriage. When I think about great-grandparents accepting a responsibility of this magnitude with challenges legally, financially, physically, and mentally, I think about the Cooks. Their story is one of my favorite videos. They have reached that amazing stage where they can look back on their wonderful accomplishment with great pride in knowing they saved their great grandson's life “like a seatbelt.”

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog

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