By Karen Best Wright, B.S., M.A. CHES
Health & Wellness Educator
Choosing whether or not to take responsibility to care for a grandchild / grandchildren on a permanent basis is such a personal decision and influenced by so many factors. There are many challenges when getting young children: daycare expenses, trauma, abandonment issues, etc., yet many rewards too.
Over the past few years as I have met grandparents who have raised teenagers, I have seen even more possible complications. Again each situation is unique and there is no one right answer.
I met an 81-year-old grandmother whose grandson she had raised was just graduating from high school. He was a terrific kid, and she was very proud of him. I have also seen situations where the teenagers were an actual threat to a grandmother. When teenagers have a violent tendancy and think it is okay to shove their grandmother because she is yelling at him or her, danger is imminent. If an older person (and even a younger one) is shoved and falls, injuries are likely.
When deciding to take custody of a grandchild, all factors need to be considered. Babies and toddlers may only be difficult because it is stressful, exhuasting, and expensive. Teenagers may be difficult if they are emotionally troubled and have violent tendancies. However, a teenager might also be the best thing that could happen to grandparents.
I guess my point is, when faced with the decision of taking custody of your grandchildren, it may be a no brainer. You want them no matter what. On the other hand, if they are more than you can handle, your own health may be in jeopardy. Consider each situation completely, looking at the needs of all concerned.
Blessings to all grandparents who are able to step up to the plate and rescue their grandchildren. Blessings also to grandparents who are unable to do so.
A grandmother in love with her grandchildren