[year] First Aid Manual For Grandparents: 5 Important Lifesaving Tips On Kid Safety


Are you in your 40s, 50s, or even 60s? Have you worked hard all your life to provide for your family, and now looking forward to enjoying your renewed life as a couple now that your kids are grown and on their own? That’s the dream and the supposed payoff for doing things right. If you’re like millions of people at that point, you may find yourself suddenly surprised to find yourself right back at the starting line. According to the 2005 U.S. Census report, nearly 6 million children under the age of 18 were living with their grandparents, a figure up nearly 25% since the previous 2000 findings of 4.5 million.

There are as many reasons for this upside-down situation as families are dealing with it. You love your grandchildren; it’s not a question of wanting to make their lives good, regardless of the “whys” of what happened in life to tear them away from their parents. The question is how to deal with the unique struggles of raising young children in your senior years.

Thankfully, the age difference isn’t as much of an issue on the surface that it used to be. Plenty of older couples are having children later in life, so grandparents raising children barely even stand out in a crowd. Despite the way it looks on the surface, the differences are real: raising your grandchildren can be very stressful. Parents who chose to have children later in life have, hopefully, taken the time to consider all of the changes it will bring to their lives. Grandparents who are suddenly faced with raising their children’s children usually do not have the benefit of reflection and choice. There are things you can do to make your life, and the lives of the children easier, and these 5 tips will give you a good start on taking control of the situation, and making it a healthy and happy arrangement that will see you all through.

Get Help and Support

Your first trick to not getting overwhelmed by your renewed responsibilities is to never be afraid to seek help. Find out what your resources are for financial aid, and physical aid. One of the best resources for older people suddenly thrust back into child-rearing duties is the AARP. You can contact the AARP division that helps seniors cope with raising grandchildren at:

AARP Grandparent Information Center 601 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20049 202-434-2296

Don’t forget your local community services as well. Contact your city, or state welfare agencies, and find out if you qualify for financial aid. You can also claim your grandchildren as dependents on your taxes if they live with you for the majority of the year.

You can also contact the National Center on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren for information on the specific agencies in each state to help you get assistance and support.

Protect Yourself and Protect the Kids

You are no good to the kids if you make yourself sick. Don’t get so carried away with all the new responsibilities, and activities that you forget to take some time for yourself each day. Whether it’s a hot bath, and some soothing bath oils, or just taking the time to read a good book, find a way to give yourself a few minutes each day to enjoy just relaxing.

There are many sad reasons children end up in the care of their grandparents. In some cases, it is far beyond their parent’s control, and life is just unfair. In other cases, the parents themselves are simply incapable of providing a good home for the children. Stepping in to give the kids the lives they deserve shows great strength and courage, but it can be difficult to hold your tongue at times. Always remember that even though the parents may be at fault, the children need to be protected, and not feel the anger and hurt you may have. Do your best to not talk bad about their parents, even when they continue to let the children down, or hurt you.

Remember Your Age

You may feel young at heart, and even though your driver’s license says you’re older, you don’t feel different than you did when you were twenty. However, your twenties were a while ago, and things are different now. Remember that when you buy clothes for the kids or want to cover your head with a pillow and scream to drown out the sound of their music.

Protecting Your Relationship

The new additions to your family just when you thought you could relax and enjoy the time as a couple can put an extreme amount of stress on a relationship. You may be seeing your dreams of travel disintegrate, or just find that you don’t have the time to enjoy quiet meals, a movie, or cuddle time on the couch anymore.

Raising grandchildren is a big cause of marital problems and even divorce, but it doesn’t have to be. It will be harder, but you can still make sure you have the time to enjoy a date night, or even take short trips. If you have other family members that can help out, that is a big plus. Even if you don’t, hire a sitter so you can get away, just the two of you for a few hours, and have fun.

Keep the lines of communication open, and make sure you’re both on the same page. Children grow fast, and before you know it, you will be able to relax again and enjoy those years of being a couple.

Make it Legal

If the unthinkable happens, and you find yourself with your grandchildren living with you, make sure you seek the advice of an attorney and make the transition a legal one. Otherwise, you have no power when it comes to school, health, or other issues. Having legal responsibility for the kids will also make it possible to get insurance, and make emergency and regular medical decisions as well.

What To Read Next?

✅ Ideas for seniors in financial trouble

✅ Home improvement & remodeling for the retirement home

✅ Help for seniors with disabilities and special needs

✅ How can you be at peace with others?

✅ What to do when feeling bored and lonely?

✅ How to stay mentally and physically healthy for older adults?

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