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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

My husband and I became part of a growing trend in America back in 2006. We were grandparents taking on the role of primary caregivers for our grandson.

My daughter got pregnant as a teenager but still had ambitions of going to college. After careful thought and prayer, we agreed to raise him in her absence. We were among nearly 6 million grandparents who have grandchildren living with them.

Here are more numbers from the Census Bureau about grandparent caregivers:

4-out-of-10 grandparents are responsible for the youngsters basic care.

5.8 million, the number of grandparents who live with one or more of their grandchildren under 18 years old.

4 percent, the percentage of people age 30 and older who live with grandchildren. The rate is 8 percent among blacks and Hispanics.

2.5 million, the number of grandparents responsible for most of the basic needs, such as clothing, food and shelter, of one or more grandchildren with which they live.

21 percent, the percentage of preschoolers who are cared for primarily by their grandparents while their mother is employed or in school.

So how can grandparents impact their grandchildren's early education?

Help give them a healthy start: Make sure your grandchildren start off every day with a healthy breakfast and a good night’s rest. Immunizations help children stay healthy and prevent many diseases that might keep them out of school.

Empower your grandchildren early: Talk to them regularly, beginning when they are infants. Read books together every day, and spend time singing, dancing, and playing together.

Help your grandchildren feel safe by providing a home with consistent rules and love. When these basic needs are met, children will be more ready to concentrate on reading, writing, and arithmetic when they get to school.

Limit TV Time: Pay attention to what your grandchildren watch on TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children under 2. For preschoolers, keep television watching to a minimum,and choose a few good-quality shows for children. If your grandchildren are watching TV, watch with them and talk about what they are watching

Talk positively about school: Let your grandchildren know that being old enough to go to school is exciting.
Take them to visit their new school before the first day. Talking positively can help children be enthusiastic about
school and learning.

Also, pick a daycare that emphasizes a school-type setting and ALWAYS find time to volunteer.


BooksThatSow said…
These are great points, Beverly. You and your husband gave your daughter a fighting chance. If not, perhaps her education would have fallen off. Some parents wouldn't have done this - tough love, but Love conquers all with sacrifices made. I applaud you.

It certainly isn't my business, but my hope is that your daughter is at least instrumental and will begin stepping in as sole provider soon. Your grandson (with his handsome self) deserves having his biological Mom in his life although you are a great replacement as a grandmother (no doubt). I just worry about their relationship and the age gap between him and grandparents (although I'm one to talk with a 13 year old, huh?).

Again, I applaud what you are doing. Your list is very comprehensive, and I pray it will help others.

Take Care and Happy New Year!!
Beverly Mahone said…
Hi Cherrye,

Thanks for stopping by and reading this blog post. My daughter graduated in 2012, got a job, saved up enough money for them to move out---which they did this past summer. She is now officially the "sole provider" and I am proud of her. She had to jump through hell and high water AND deal with me so it hasn't been easy. But she continues to persevere in spite of the odds and my grandson has great support around him--including the great grandparents on the other side.
Beverly Mahone said…
Oh and one more thing---he's now 8 years old.

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