Grandparents Custody and Grandchildren Behavioral Changes

It is a fact that children raised in their grandparents custody develop behavioral changes and emotional problems during the course of the time. The absence of biological parents causes them to development of stress in most children raised by a grandparent. Several researches have been done to find the behavioral changes in such children and to find solution to decrease or stop such feelings in growing children. The stress of the child is more if he or she is unable to adjust emotionally with the grandparents during the initial stage. Such children need special care and attendance from, schools and community clinics.

Normally children do not develop emotional problems at the time when they start to live with the grandparents. When days passes and in case an incident happens such as either a face to face meeting with the biological parents or hearing a phone call from them, the child may get emotionally upset and have mental stress from that incidents onwards. The fact is that grandparents raising grandchildren are unable to wipe the confusion in the child’s mind even if they love them deeply. They may show anger quickly or not obey the grandparents or they may develop guilt feelings towards themselves. Some of the other disorders developed in the children raised by grandparents are,

1. Learning disabilities,
2. Insecurity,
3. Health problems like malnutrition,anemia,asthma and bronchitis and dental problems,

Usually boys show more behavioral problems than girls raised by grandparents. Further children under their grandmother’s custody show less emotional disorders than those under grandfather’s custody.
What is needed to Change the behavior of Children?

The best way to change the emotional problems in children raised by grandparents is to help them to understand about the past and what has brought them to live with you. The company of other children may make them happy. At this time the children may forget about the family as playing with the best friends remove tension and worries. Also there should be plenty of leisure activities to do when they are under their grandparent’s custody. Grandparents should treat the children with sympathy and care at all times so that no ill feelings are developed towards them.

The second effort should come from the community and government. The social service agencies, clinical therapists, school teachers, and health care providers have key roles to play in the development of children raised by grandparents. The roles of social service agencies are to educate grandparents the best way to deal with the emotional problems of the children. The schools are a good places to develop good behavioral habits in children. Health care providers including doctors can help the children and grandparents to take care of the health problems of the children. Since grand parenting is a universal social problem, only government can take massive action to help and support the grandparents custody rights and grandchildren through appropriate legislation and other statutory measures. The fact alone that there are more grandparents raising grandchildren now than ever before and the numbers continue to grow suggests that this issue needs to be addressed by all.

If you are a grandparent who thinks that your grandchildren are not properly being taken care of, you should seek out your options because the longer children stay in abusive or not healthy situation the more chances they will have to have in their life with adjusting to then changes.

Involvement of Grandparents in Childcare Breeds Happiness in Children

Various studies have been conducted in the past in order to understand the impact of outside factors on the growth of a child, one of them being the role played by the grandparents.

According to a recent study by researchers at the Institute of Education, London and Oxford University, bringing up children in an active involvement from the side of grandparents, cause them to be happier that those who have been deprived of their special care. The study showed an interesting link between adolescent well-being and active participation of grandparents. As adolescence is the most crucial phase in the life of a child and it can be the starting point of creation of a divide between the parents and children. If a child’s parents are working, then the possibility of the child getting alienated increases even more. At such a time the grandparents can prove to be of great help by being a constant source of support and proper guidance.

The researchers also made it clear that mere closeness will have no effect on the child keeping in mind the nuclear families in which the grandchildren meet their grandparents during holidays and vacations. The point to note here is that only the grandparents, who live with their grandchildren all the time, show some positive impact.

Working parents find it almost impossible to spend quality time with their children nor can they take out time for solving their minor yet important problems that can pile up to make great amount of mental pressure. Grandparents perform both these tasks efficiently by playing an important role in the rearing process. They can act as experienced guardians in the absence of parents along with playing the role of a patient listener to all their thoughts and feelings.

Under the study, a survey was conducted involving 1,500 children during which it was found that in situations like divorce too grandparents are valuable assets. Though divorce is harmful for the mental health of a child, grandparents can help in making the impact milder. The survey also found that grandparents played a major role in career and study decisions of the grandchildren. As against the parents who often feel insecure while it comes to deciding a career or study move for their children, the grandparents can prove to be a constant source of love and moral support to the parents as well as the grandchildren.

Ten Tips For Grandparents Who Are Raising Grandchildren

According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2000, 5.8 million people were living with grandchildren younger than 18 years old. Among these grandparents, 2.4 million were also grandparent caregivers who had primary responsibility for their grandchildren. These numbers are astounding, and I am one of those grandparents.

So, why are there so many grandparents raising grandchildren today? Unfortunately, social problems, economics and parents fighting wars in foreign countries have a lot to do with the growing number of baby boomers and the like, raising their children’s children. The growing number of alcohol and drug-related problems can attribute to many other factors including incarceration, abuse and neglect, mental illness, catastrophic illness and death. The failing economy that has been in the news spotlight for quite some time now, may lead to loss of employment and homelessness.

Grandchildren who are left in the care of their grandparents may exhibit many social problems themselves, causing great stress on the grandparents who are taking care of them. These problems include: anger, hostility, depression, fear and resentment which may lead to involvement with drugs and alcohol, teen pregnancy and gang association.

Grandparents who are doing their best to help their grandchildren may also suffer the effects of the stress which may be compounded by financial difficulties and health problems. The challenges of raising grandchildren may be great; however, these 10 tips may help you in reducing some of the stresses in your situation.

Getting assistance through local, state and government agencies and organizations may help you with food, financial and health care issues, legal assistance and finding support groups.

Relaxation and stress management techniques can help you gain focus and clarity on the issues and concerns in your household. Taking time to breathe properly and maintaining a gratitude journal are two good ways of helping to reduce stress.

Asking questions can help build stronger relationships and reduce the risk of grandchildren getting into trouble. Asking your grandchildren about their favorite things as well as information about their friends can be very beneficial to you and your grandchildren.

Nutrition and wellness is important for all family members in dealing with stress. Nutrition and wellness keeps us healthy in mind, body and soul.

Discipline strategies that incorporate love, positive reinforcement and consequences help build stronger and healthier relationships, and reduce conflicts and misbehavior.

Communicating, coaching, counseling and conflict resolution are options when issues of stress and emotions are creating conflict and mental health concerns, for both grandparents and grandchildren. Understanding when it’s time to ask for help is a key in preventing situations from escalating.

Organization of time and space are necessary with additional family members in the home. Cleaning out excessive household items as well as keeping calendars of activities can help in this area.

Activities are a great way for grandchildren to reduce the stress they are feeling, and help build communication, leadership and socialization skills. Getting them involved in sports or groups such as scouting programs, are excellent ways to promote self-esteem, team-building and social skills.

Children’s temperament is an area all parents and grandparents should be aware of in order to build effective levels of communication and understanding among family members. Learning about your grandchildren’s personality type is very beneficial.

An understanding of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can help explain some of the reactions your grandchildren may be experiencing with their new living arrangements. Understanding the levels can help you relate to their feelings and emotions, and what areas of their lives need to be reinforced.

I hope these 10 tips are helpful and assist you in relieving some of the stress and conflict that comes with being a “second-time-around” parent.

Kay Fontana, “The Grandcoach,” helps baby boomers overcome the challenges of raising grandchildren. She has over 20 years experience teaching, training and mentoring in a variety of industries including public and private education, county 9-1-1 services and emergency medical services. A certified coach, she also holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary/Special Education, a master’s degree in Educational Administration and has completed post-graduate work in Educational Leadership.

Kay is a mother of 3, a grandparent of 7, and is currently helping raise one of her 6 year-old grandsons. Her efforts center on helping grandparents who are raising grandchildren by coaching them in the areas of managing change and transition, reducing stress and conflict, understanding personality types, and achieving goals.