As we have discussed in other posts on this blog, grandparents who raise their grandchildren face numerous unique challenges, ranging from the physical to the emotional. If you are one of the many Ohio grandparents with renewed parenting responsibilities, you know that your work is cut out for you. The years to come may be challenging, frustrating and discouraging, but they can also be rewarding if you have the right support system and assistance.
The Conversation points out that today, about 2.9 million grandparents across the United States have primary custody of their grandchildren. You might wonder why this is. The following circumstances are common reasons grandparents are becoming responsible for the upbringing of their grandchildren:
- One or both parents are deceased.
- Parents are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and may be incarcerated.
- The children may have been abused or neglected by their parents or caregivers.
- The parents may be experiencing temporary or long-term financial difficulties and cannot afford to take care of the children.
When children are removed from their parents’ custody by authorities or when parents are otherwise unable to raise their children, family courts will give preference to close relatives, whenever possible. Often, as you may already know, grandparents are among the first ones considered for the responsibility.
However, as you may also be aware, grandparents can have physical and mental challenges that make it more difficult to raise children than it was when they were younger. In fact, many custodial grandparents suffer from depression and anxiety related to their childrearing responsibilities. If you find yourself in this situation, you would be encouraged to reach out to advocates and programs meant to help custodial grandparents.