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GRANDPARENT HEROES

I am not just talking about “What Grandpa did in the war” although sharing such inter-generational stories is wonderful for kids.

I am talking about those hundreds of thousands of grandparents who take in their grandchildren and raise them when the kid’s own parents cannot.

The last time I checked 2 million grandparents (or other relatives) are raising their grandchildren in the US today.

The majority of US children live in two-parent households but over 78 million do not. Most of our children who live in single-parent households live with the mother; 23% of all children do so. But 3.5% of US children live with the father alone and, sadly, 3.5% live with NEITHER parent.

Plus there are over half a million children in foster care and over 100, 000 waiting to be adopted.

This is where heroic grandparents come to the rescue. They decide to take in their grandchildren themselves even when it means a personal sacrifice.

What makes parents unable to raise their own children? The cause is one of what I call the BIG, BAD “D” WORDS: DEATH, DISEASE (especially mental illness), DISABILITY, DETENTION in jail, DRUGS, DIVORCE, and DESERTION.

Sometimes the remaining parent tries valiantly but just can’t manage and work too so grandparents help out sometimes disrupting their own lives and moving near the children. Sometimes children are in a single-parent household when illness strikes the sole parent or that parent is on drugs. Often such children are removed from the unstable home and grandparents step in after being awarded temporary or permanent custody.

Most of these grandparents deserve medals. All, except perhaps the wealthy deserve some financial help from the state. I salute these valiant people who substitute for their own child after tragedy strikes.

I have met with many of these grandparents and my advice is GET HELP from the get-go. Many communities have social service agencies that help grandparents raising children providing funds and support services.

Also the CHILDREN NEED HELP. Most of them have been involved in sad or horrible lives until “rescued.” Many must move to new neighborhoods and schools. And they are bereaved: they have lost their own parents and home. We have known for many years that, even the most egregiously abused or neglected children still miss the parent who perpetrated the crimes against them.

TELL YOUR FRIENDS THEY CAN GET A PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, AND PRIVATE ANSWER TO THEIR PARENTING QUESTIONS BY GOING TO info@ParentKidsRight.com