ABSTRACT This paper defines the challenges that both grandparents and grandchildren face when they are involved in a skipped-generation household. Custodial grandparents face many obstacles and stressors when they take on the role of caregiver to their grandchildren. The children also face many difficulties when living in a household without their biological parents. This can be both a rewarding experience but also very trying one for both grandparent and grandchild. With the help of supportive systems, such as financial assistance programs and social support groups, the stress and overwhelming feeling can be reduced.
Becoming a Custodial Grandparent:
The Physiological, Psychological, and Economical Effects Throughout history grandparents have always played an important role in their family’s lives and in the lives of their grandchildren. These roles may have included caring for their grandchildren while parents worked and acting as a support system for the entire family. Grandparents and grandchildren also share a special bond and relationship. They teach their grandchildren about their cultural beliefs and help shape the child into a successful adult. In recent years there has been a dramatic change in the roles that grandparents are playing. More grandparents are taking on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren. This is known as a “skipped-generation household” and is defined as households where the grandparents and grandchildren are present in the
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As the family structure and needs within the family are changing, the grandparent role is becoming more considered as the parent. As societies problems are growing such as substance abuse, violence, incarceration, homicide, mental illness and at the time this article was published the presence of Aids, the children in these families are starting to be cared for by their grandparents due to these issues being present in their parents’ lives. In just the African American culture according to the article “Empowering African American Custodial Grandparents”, “13.5% of African American children are living with their grandparents or other relatives.” This article discusses the imploring of the Family Systems Theory in the area of empowering the grandparents
It is evident that the family structures have dramatically transitioned over the past 100 years. The “Leave it to the Beaver” family is a thing of the past standards and a number of variations have been formed over the years. In the United States, there are six particular kinds of family configurations that are recognized by the modern society. Some of these family structures are naturally falling into several categories. For instance, a single parent family living in a large, extended family set up. Even though these types of families differ in definition, the lines are not very clear when it comes to practice.
The final stage is the “family in later life”. During this stage, individuals must accept the shifting of generational roles, as they become the grandparents. They must be able to let go of some power to their offspring as they find their new place in the family system. Dealing with this change while facing potential decline in health, financial security, and loss of spouse can be stressful. Grandparenthood can be a reward substitute (Carter & McGoldrick, 1988, p. 20).
1.The role of Native American grandmother can take on different definitions depending on the tribe and their culture. The “grandmother” can be several older fictive kin, or they can be older female relatives, or even simply older women in the tribe (Novak, 2012, p. 191). A grandmother is a respected role taking on the upbringing of their oldest or many grandchildren, additionally even fostering orphans or impoverished children (Weibel-Orlando, 1988, p. 163). This caregiving role eases the burden on younger women, allowing them to help financially or to carry out homemaking tasks. Although some grandparents may relish this role, some have it forced upon them to do unfortunate family circumstances of divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, and death (Novak, 2012, p. 191). According to Weibel-Orlando grandparental roles also play a vital role in the continuity of Native American cultural values, being a “cultural conservator”, and relaying a tribe’s history, rituals, and practices through oral storytelling (pp.250-251).
This article discusses what is best for a child and how each situation can be is uniquely delicate. It also talks about the continuity, attachment, and emotional impact of removing a child from the care of long-term caregivers, such as grandparents.
An article the New York Times reveals, “more than 50 million Americans are in multigenerational households” (Greene 2012). Stephen Melman, director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders states, before the start of WII multigenerational homes, was common. Even though, many experts associate this new type of family structure as a final resolution of the ongoing recession. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. suggests many advantages can come from three generations living under one roof, which
A brief view of the 4 decades within the periods of 1950 to 1990 would show us a significant shift from the conventional nuclear family to the non-conventional modern family. Starting from the 1950s, the families were nuclear, where members worked together, understood their roles, and did what was expected of them; by the 1960s, there were a few sitcoms that began to undermine the television parent’s authority by privileging the independence of nearly adult or adult children; by the 1970s, the authoritative father began to disappear as they were no longer
This paper will discuss the differences between families from the 1960’s and the families of today. There are many differences between the different times. I have focused on the parentage portion of the families. I explained what the ideal family is and how it is different today. I’ve also included ways that will help these families of today become stronger as a family.
Mic conveys the hardships of raising a grandchild when she states that she must work two jobs in order to provide food for her family because the organization she founded does not provide enough income. Mic’s worries of having to provide enough money to support her household has notably negatively affected her mental health due to the number of responsibilities that has been put on her. This is a common situation for many grandparents who look after their grandchildren as Burke reveals that many grandparents “report feeling emotionally drained, depressed, and worried about what will happen to the children if their own health fails” (Burke 435). Also, the issue of grandparents raising grandchildren relates to the generativity versus stagnation stage of psychosocial development. This is due to the fact that in this psychosocial stage “adults focus more intently on extending commitments beyond oneself and one’s life partner to a larger group--family, community or society” (Burker 423) when adults in middle adulthood become generative.
Culturally is it unusual that Lanesha’s grandmother is her primary caregiver? I would like to say no to this question, but the facts behind this issue don’t support it. Within the African American community, approximately 12% of African American children nationally are cared for by their grandparents, compared to approximately 7% of Hispanic children and 4% of non-Hispanic White children (NCBI, 2010). Lanesha and her grandmother are part of a larger issue that is reflected in today’s society. Several reasons can exist for this paradigm, anything from the parents needing complete education, the grandparents supplementing expensive daycare costs, or simply because the parents are not involved in the child’s life.
The grandparents are faced with financial challenges and limited resources causing them to feel resentment towards their new role as “parent”. Children often go undisciplined not because of a lack of caring but from the huge age differences and energy level of the grandparent(s). The grandparent(s) seclusion from friends and social events can make many of them sink into depression causing further feelings of isolation by the child. Animosity among the grandparents other kids and grandchildren can cause further rife within the family unit.
In many families in our society today, the parents are a part of the sandwich generation and now are raising kids that are growing up to take part in the boomerang generation. The sandwich generation makes up of people who are in their thirties or forties that are trying to raise their own children while looking after their elderly parents. On the other hand, the boomerang generation consists of young adults who graduate high school and college to only come back and live with their parent and rely on their support. As a result of this, there comes many challenges for both the parents and the child since the sandwich generation is stuck in the conflicting nature of taking care of their elderly parents while providing for their children by meeting their needs of emotional love and providing tangible needs. However, many realize that their kids are entering into adulthood and now these parents face the challenge of pushing their children to be independent and take on responsibility while trying to secure a stable retirement.
The belief that the family structure and parenting practices have morally declined can be traced back to the early 1940’s in America. In an interview with C. Moran, LCSW-C (personal communication, April 8, 2004), she described a time where families lived very close to, if not on the same street as their extended family. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents would all participate in the raising of the children, “it takes a village to raise a child” (C Moran, April 8, 2004). In some cases, the grandparents would teach the parents how to parent. As time moved on into the “freeness” of the 1960’s and 1970’s, parenting became more passive. Children at a young age were allowed to make decisions that ten years ago would have been made by their parents. The belief was to allow the child to make their own mistakes and they would receive the repercussions from society. As a result, more freedom of choice would be given to the child. Now, with the children of the sixties and seventies having offspring of their own, the “millennial generation”, and extended families spread out globally, active and involved parenting is becoming a thing of the past.
My grandparents were the matriarchs of the family.We perceived them at a higher standard than of my parents. Their unannounced titles are automatic because they are elders in our family. But only used their titles or status when they disagreed with my parents. I normalized the fact that my first cousins lived with us. Though it is not a part of the nuclear family, the advantages seem to be more helpful. In other cultures the more children that are available means there are more hands to help around the house. Mostly everyone would have a job or task to complete. These tasks would make the living conditions easy because everyone contributed. Compared to the typical family, it may discouraged because it can be seen that the children are used as servants. I I never viewed that the work I contributed in my family was being exploited in anyway. It was just a way of life. Meyerhoff says it perfect in his article “For children, this provides an enlarged number of significant adults and playmates” (Meyerhoff). I truly think it made me independent as I become older.
Families recognise that each person is an autonomous individual and adult children need to be encourage to pursue independent lives. Grandchildren are added and extended family grows, with on-going contact that does not interfere with the new nuclear family, which now work towards developing own boundary. Parents have to realise that adult children no longer need their guidance and economic assistance