Question5: Children under Caregiver Grandparents
Accordingto statistics carried out by Administration for children and families(ACF), there is an increment in the number of children undergrandparents care over past few decades. In most cases, it happenswhen the birth parents of a child are not in a position to look aftertheir children. Grandparents do not anticipate for this and thereforeare not prepared for care giving. However, they choose to take careof their grandchildren with the aim of keeping their familiestogether. They prefer carrying their burdens rather than giving outtheir children to foster parents. The discussion will explore whycaregiver grandparents occurs, the rewards as well as challenges thatthey encounter.
About2.4 million Grandparents are the sole caregivers to theirgrandchildren. The number is approximately 42% of the totalgrandparents who live with their grandchildren under one roof in theUnited States. Placement of children under grandparents-care oftenoccurs abruptly. Sometimes they assume the responsibility immediatelythe child is born while other times they consider the dependabilityafter a complicated time with the biological parents. Some of thereasons why such incidences occur include parental substance andabuse, a psychiatric disorder of biological parents, homicide due todomestic violence, parental incarceration, divorce, military actionas well as maternal death.
Whenparents are substance abusers children, suffer most. Such householdoften lacks peace as well as basic needs. In some instances, theparents abuse children through violent attacks. When parents cannotafford basic needs to the children with the aim of supporting theirbehavior, children lack food, clothing as well as education. Thesebasic needs are essential for the growth of individuals as well asentire society. It is likely that such parents also teach theirchildren such behaviors of substance abuse as well as violence. Someparents, however, do not abuse any substance but participate indomestic violence. Stress or psychiatric disorder causes suchdomestic violence. Such parents are declared obsolete and often raisechildren under environments that are not conducive.
Parentalincarceration is entirely a different situation. The parents areunavailable, and children are left alone. Such parents arerecommended under an adult care and often grandparents prefer takingthem in under their care. The case is similar when parents die aschildren are not in a position to take care of themselves without anadult guidance. Also, some health issues that may cause a parentincapacitated for parental care leads to grandparents taking theresponsibility. In some instances the complete care is temporary.
Sinceit is mostly a sudden responsibility that these grandparents aregiven, in most cases it is not always best. Most grandparents aspireto have a life of visiting their grandchildren once in a whilewithout taking complete responsibility for them. When it is a shortcase, grandparents may enjoy it, and in some cases, they may requestfor a chance. However, when circumstances force them to take theseduties, then many challenges are associated with the phenomena. Oneof the biggest problems is personal feelings. Once a biologicalparent fails in parental duties such that the grandparent isdelegated, their freedom and beliefs are compromised. There is oftensome relief that a decision has been made but once feels bad aboutthe violent as well as drug abusing parents. Apart from thegrandparent`s feelings, the children may also be uncomfortabledepending on their age. When parents were abusive, the child may beunder stress or in trauma. When parents are dead, then lifestylechanges and the environment is entirely new. A grandparent may notunderstand such feelings as they are often dealing with individualchallenges.
Therelationship of a grandparent with other people changes anddeteriorates. The grandparents may quarrel with the biologicalparents of the children over how to raise them. To the children, themagical grandmother who always had stories and gifts become a strictdisciplinarian hence unfriendly. It may also be difficult forgrandparents to change their routine as they wake up early to preparekids for school and maybe pick them in the evening. Time spent withother age-mates is compromised due to additional responsibilities.Above all, there is a financial strain. Those grandparents dependingon pension have to compromise their needs to cater for children fees,medical cover as well as entertainment.
Apartfrom challenges that come with the responsibility, it is also arewarding action. Children get under the care of a family member andoften feel at home. It saves them from an agony of foster parenting.Grandparents` worries are also resolved as they have custody of theirgrandchildren. Often when such custodians receive financial help frominstitutions, those grandchildren are responsibly brought up andbecome useful in the society. There is joy when these children growup, get through the education system and acquire a good job. Whenparents are away, they are comfortable as they know their childrenare safe.
Inconclusion, increased grandparents responsibility for grandchildrenis a result of lack of parental care for the kids. Such parents mayhave financial, health as well as character issues. Grandparents takecustodial responsibility of these children to ensure that they remainin the family for the sake of family lineage. However, it is aresponsibility accompanied by various challenges though it has itsrewards.