Many grandparents serve as the primary caregivers for their grandchild(ren). When parents are unable to care for their children for a variety of reasons, grandparents are often the ones to step in and take over the role of parenting. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2011, 2.7 million grandparents in the United States lived in the same household and acted as the primary caregiver for a grandchild.
Grandparents who act as primary caregivers face challenges unique to the transition of switching roles and becoming a parental figure for a second time. However, grandparents raising grandchildren also have the unique opportunity to use their wisdom and expertise to care for their grandchildren and develop strong, meaningful relationships. Grandparents have the ability to promote positive growth and development in their grandchildren by providing a safe, nurturing environment, while also feeling a sense of purpose and accomplishment through helping their grandchildren develop into successful individuals.
Throughout the rest of this week, we will be sharing more information about the challenges of grandparents who serve as primary caregivers, as well as tips to help grandparents navigate this new phase of life. We hope this information will help you or a loved one through this transition, while also promoting strong relationships between grandparents and the grandchildren they are raising!