EATON — The late great Billy Graham said, ‘The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.’
When you’re trying to make the best out of a difficult situation, having grandparents raise their grandchildren is much more preferable in many instances than putting children into foster care or temporary placements. Although there are behavioral issues that will come up, especially when parents are not included in the family picture, with the right resources, grandparents can conquer the problem when they can assess the support they need.
• Children who were raised by grandparents starting between the ages of 2-6 had the same levels of emotional development as other children, but lacked behind in academic skills.
• Children who have a caring adult within the family can help to reduce the risks of suffering from future bouts of depression and anxiety.
• Only 11 percent of grandparents are raising their grandkids because of the death of one or both of that child’s parents.
• Over 40 percent of children being cared for by a grandparent are there because of at least one parent’s substance abuse.
• 28 percent of the kids who are being raised by their grandparents were victims of abuse, abandonment, or neglect from their parents.
• Grandparents often have to handle the false promises that parents make to their children as they attempt to stay within the child’s life, leading to future behavioral difficulties.
• For every child that is in the foster system right now, there are about 25 kids being raised by their grandparents and/or an extended family support system.
The primary issue that grandparents face isn’t necessarily with the behavior of their grandkids, but is instead with the behaviors of their adult children. Many grandparents end up being surprised by their child’s decision to commit a crime, abuse their child, or simply take off with no warning. This creates a situation where grandparents must either take custody of their grandkids or have them placed in to the foster system. Most grandparents do step in to fulfill the missing role, but that’s when the next set of behavioral challenges begin. After all, most kids would prefer to be with their parents if all things are equal.
Final Facts About Grandparents
• 36 percent of grandparents who are raising their grandkids have done so for more than 5 years.
• Families that have a grandparent raising a grandchild help to save taxpayers over $6 billion each year because they keep those kids out of the foster system.
• 21 percent of grandparents who are taking care of their grandkids are living below the poverty line.
• Children who are placed with another relative make up over one-quarter of the foster care system in the United States.
Preble County Council on Aging offers a Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) resource group once a month. This is held in an environment with friendly ears, kind hearts, and non-judgement. This support network includes questions and answers, with speakers brought in as needed to answer those ‘bigger’ questions. Join us on the following Fridays, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 14 and/or Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. at the Senior Activities Center. If you need childcare, let us know ahead of time, and we will arrange it for you, 937-456-4947.
To stay up to date on all of our activities, trips and senior news sign up to receive our bi-monthly newsletter the “Senior Scene.” Membership at the Senior Center is $10 a year. In addition to other benefits, members automatically receive our bi-monthly “Senior Scene” newsletter which features all our latest news and activities, additional benefits are discounts on trips and select activities. Like our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/preblecountycouncilonaging/ or give us a call at 937-456-4947. Visit our website at www.PrebleSeniorCenter.org.