My siblings and I were raised by my parents and grandparents. It took a village to keep us idiots from being run over. My mom worked and my grandparents conveniently lived next door. It must hurt parents and grandparents to hold their squirming progeny whose only objective is to escape the tyranny of, and committments to, the ancients. Youngsters have little appreciation that they're inextricably linked to others despite their fervent desire to seek independence. My grandparents were nutty, but they loved us with all they had to love us with. Their committment is inspirational even as I've squirmed my way to freedom. I'm humbly satisfied that I took care of my grandparents and parents even though I often wanted to run away. My bolded words represent the illusions I hug with humor and insight.
Grandparents can be a wonderful influence on children. Children, tend to be very quick, impulsive and excitable, and respond positively to the calming influence of older people. While full time parenting can be difficult for grandparents, there are great ways for older adults to positively influence the lives of children through tutoring and mentoring in schools and community centers.
I am the coordinator of a team which puts on a weekend retreat for grandparents and other relatives who are parenting again as they raise their grandchildren or niece/nephew. This event is open to anyone throughout Oregon. The dates are August 28-30. The event is held at a retreat center just east of Salem. Cost for the entire weekend with two nights and five meals is $65 or $125 for a couple. Some scholarships may be available. We offer educational seminars, state and community organizations have resource tables plus we offer a chance for relaxation with crafts and upper body massages and professional entertainers. For more information I can be reached at 503-831-5593 or email@example.com Janice Wolcott Chair of A Gift of Time
You've missed a "voice." Grandparents who parent grandchildren often have other grandchildren; the dynamics change completely and much is lost between those two generations.
I am writing from the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC, www.orparc.org). We are a nonprofit agency with a contract with the state of Oregon Department of Human Services and offer resources to families who have adopted children or are assisted guardianship parents through the state of Oregon or any state's child welfare system. We have many resources specifically for grandparents and other relatives raising grandchildren and invite grandparents and other relatives who have adopted or are caring for a relative child to contact us at 503-241-0799 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center
As an immigrant in Portland, our parents's duty is to take care of their parents in our household. In turn our grandparents take care of us when both of my parents work. There are a lot of problems in this dynamic (taking care of old age parents) however most of us growing up with a lot of love, caring and patience in our big family. It is our culture to take care of our parents when they are old after they make so much scarify for us to become successful adults. Their wisdom also is good for our kids. The chain goes on and one for thousands of years. This link works very well in Asian community. It's all about love and respect to our elderly. Our parents are everything to us. It is one of the way to raise healthy family I think.
I just got out of my car, am headed into a meeting, and left my two kids, 4 and 8, with my parents for the day as Portland schools are closed today. My mom and dad regularly pick up my kids three days per week. I think I speak for many, many parents who would not survive without the help of their parents when I send out a shout to my folks, and all the grandparents with kids in their care right now, and say, THANK YOU! We couldn't do it without you!
Sorry I'll miss the show. I'll catch it on line. Great Subject.
REAL HEROES those grandparents, and great grandparents. Wow.
I’m a parent of a daughter who is now about to be 2 years old. We emigrated from India in 2000. In India, culturally, children take care of aging parents (and many even live with them).
We have our parents/in-laws, who still live in India, spend around 6 months with us every year. We alternate between her parents and mine each year. This is the only way we can spend time with them as they are aging and the distance is so great.
When my daughter was born, we had my wife’s parents come help us for the first 6 months and then we had my parents come for the other 6 months. We were hesitant to send her to the day care while she was so young and preferred care by her grandparents. At the same time we didn’t want to burden them with parenting so my wife would start her day at 6:00 am and come home by 3:00 while I would start my day late (9:30) and return by 6:00 or 7:00. I would also spend my lunch hour with them. That way my daughter would be with them for about 5 hours.
I think this worked out very well for us.
Another important role Grandparents are playing is as volunteers, particularly mentors. Intergenerational mentoring programs like Foster Grandparents, Experience Corps, and Face to Face (in Gresham) give older adults a chance to use their life experience and love for children to have a positive impact on youth in schools.
Grandparents can have an amazingly calming influence for kids in the classroom and their is research out there now showing the volunteering has measurable health benefits for the volunteers! Additionally, Foster Grandparents and Experience Corps provide stipends to older adults for their work.
Two for one, right?
With the new administration giving such a strong call for people to step up and volunteer, let's not forget how valued our grandparents should be and encourage all older adults to engage in programs like these. Metropolitan Family Service administers a lot of these intergenerational programs in Portland and E. County (www.metfamily.org). check them out!
My mother grew up with her grandparents. Her parents died in an accident when she was three, so she spent her childhood years (1937 to 1952 when she was 18) with her grandparents. By the time she was 18, she was on her own. Both her grandmother and grandfather had died.
But the bigger result than being alone at 18 is that my mom has always had ideas a generation behind where they should be, behind where her peers ideas were. She is and always has been the very definition of old-fashioned (my mom's grandmother was forming her ideas about the world in 1900!) Mom knows this... all her life, her thinking has been a generation behind. She's 74 now, and even now she acts older than her years.
My mom's grandparents did their best, but both mom and I think she would have been better off with aunts or uncles who would have been the right generation to be her parents.
My husband and I have adopted our grandson, now 8 years old. He has been with us full time since he was 8 months old and was removed from his parents because of their drug use. We initially said we were not interested in adoption because of our age (52). But when they wanted to place him with another family for adoption, we changed our minds. After parenting him for 6 months, we couldn?t let him go. He was bonded with us and we with him. We felt that we would be his best permanency choice as we knew all the circumstances of his background. We were acquainted with his birth parents and knew the possiblilities of pre-natal drug and alcohol use. He has also had the opportunity to know his birth father and the problems drug use has caused in our family.
At retirement, we had planned to do extensive world travel. Our plans changed when our grandson came to us. We know live and travel full time in our fifth wheel trailer, homeschooling our grandson. Seeing him discover our country has been a great joy. He remembers many things from our travels which offset the trouble he has with reading and spelling due to auditory processing disorder.
Many of the other parenting grandparents we know have children who have come out of drug use homes. This has given the children many disabilities we have to deal with.
We have had many discussions about what will happen to grandson if we both die before he is an adult. Our daughter is struggling to care for her child and probably couldn?t handle another child. My husband and I were only children, so no aunts or uncles to fall back on. We finally chose a close friend who will decide where grandson goes, but not necessarily take him to raise herself.
Our grandson was concieved when our son was 18 to a girl he hardly knew and didn't want to marry. Our son didn't want anything to do with fatherhood and the childs mom left the child with us frequently from the time he was a baby 7 months old. Sometimes we would have him four days in a row because his mom would call and make an excuse as to why she needed us to keep him longer. We knew she was using us but choose to allow it for the sake of the little child.
We actually had him for about 50% of the time until he was almost 8 years old. I took him to most Doctors appointments, went to school conferences and he got off the bus at our house. Finally when he was 7 1/2 my husband and I became aware of what the situation was at his mother's house. She was using drugs and involved in unhealthy lifestyle. It was suggested to us by a neighbor of the child's mother that we take him from her. To make a long story short, we got permanent legal guardianship of him 2 months before his 8th birthday. He went to fifth grade at public school and then I homeschooled him for 2 1/2 years. He is twelve now and doing pretty well back in public school.
We didn't want to raise this little guy but knew that we were the only source of stability in his life. We adore him but of course we know that our lives would have been much different if we were not raising a child again. I am 54 and my husband is 61. We have gone through much adjustment and I won't say this has been or is easy but we wouldn't have it any other way. Our son is now involved in his son's life and that is helping to relieve some of the strain on us.
I think that raising another child is helping us to keep a youthful outlook and many people think that he is actually our child rather than our grandson.
From his view though, he feels that we are not a "normal" family and feels selfconcious about that. This child has not seen him birth mother for 19 months and we don't know exactly why. Much more can be said but suffice it to say that it is a difficult situation for both children and grandparents and yet these are our own flesh and blood and we feel that we are the best choice for raising them.
This is a painful story to share. We had two children, a boy and a girl. Our 30-year-old daughter became pregnant and lived with us and had a beautiful son on 6/16/07. On the babies "1st birthday", she was on her way to a construction flagging job, (just her 2nd day on the job after waiting a full year to be employed through the Union), and veered off the road and hit a tree and was killed instantly. We were devastated and left with a one year-old grandson to raise.
At first we had many challenges. The baby always slept with his mother. Now we had to share our bed with him until he was adjusted and ready for his own bed. There was getting up in the middle of the night to comfort and feed him. My husband became the full-time caretaker, while I worked a full time job.
We are now faced with raising a child, while my husband is retired and I still work. His biological father has never been involved. We plan to adopt him. We love our Grandson and are committed to giving him the best. He's the sunshine of our lives (like his mommy was). He takes a lot of the pain away. It?s a gift to be able to have a second chance at parenthood.
In the past, my husband worked and I stayed home with our own children. There is a reversal role now, he watches the baby while I work. My husband is retired and I work full-time. He has a second chance to watch a child blossom and grow. I'm envious that he gets to stay home while I work.
The toughest challenge for us is being in our late 50's and raising an 18-month-old child.
Will we have good health and be able to live long enough to see him grow-up and take care of himself? What happens to him if something unexpected happens to us? Can our son support him and raise him? We have many "what if's." We are lucky to have dedicated family and friends that supports us.
My mother and her husband are both around 80, still active. For the past five years, they have watched their great-grandaughter, Nattie, who is now six, for three days a week while the parents work. I asked Mom once why they had taken on such a demanding job watching Naughty ... I mean, Nattie. She replied, "We don't want to be just professional old people, sitting around. Boy, she keeps us running, too." They shower her with love, eat her cooking experiments, and give her four listening ears. Indeed, my parents look younger now than they did five years ago... And Nattie will never forget them, long into her old age.
God bless all grandparents who parent the very young.
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