Raising Grandchildren

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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
For more than 20 years, there has been a steady increase in the number of grandparents taking responsibility as solve caregivers of their grandchildren. We note the challenges these older adults and children face in coping with the upheaval in family life and children’s development. A variety of reasons exist for this upward trend. Researchers have labeled four specific reasons: death, desertion, divorce and drugs. As a result, we find grandparents are raising the most vulnerable of children. The children frequently seen are those exhibiting disruptive behaviors; both at home and at school.

The circumstances surrounding the assumption of caregiver are complicated, though this trend is not subject to one specific “group”. However, statistically we find African-American, single woman as the majority of custodial grandparents. Many of them are living below the poverty line. Interestingly, a child having regular contact with his/her father or other masculine influence (i.e. partner of grandmother) had a more positive outcome regarding relationship with others, social interaction. Emotionally supportive fostering is crucial to child development; as well as consistent and appropriate disciplinary practices in order to lead a productive life.

In recent years, research has provided an abundance of information on the staggering effects of trauma in adolescents. Often times, the custodial grandparent(s) may interpret a child’s particular behavior as disobedience, disrespect, and/or insubordination; the child may actually be reacting to trauma. As a result of the initial behavior, the disciplinary practices enforced may fuel the existing behavioral problem. Altercations may escalate. The child perceives the punishment as, yet, another abusive experience.

Children rely on caregivers to provide safe, secure environments when they are distressed. Creative integration of various parental training approaches could be...
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