"The number of grandparents raising their grandchildren in this country today has more than doubled in the last ten years, and grandparents sacrifice so much, to be able to give their grandchildren a stable home, often giving up their dreams and struggling with a lack of resources and support" shared guest, Elaine William, author of the book: 'Sacred Work of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren', today on Lon Woodbury's Internet Talk Radio Show: Parent Choices for Struggling Teens on LATalkRadio.
A large percentage of these children living with their grandparents are due to several factors including, behavioral problems and mental illness, alienation of the parent/parents due to their children's out of control behavior, pregnancy, or juvenile delinquency or arrests. Yet the biggest percentage of children having to relocate to their grandparents is due to parents being in jail and these incarcerations are mainly due to drugs. Elaine addresses this issue in her book for grandparents by saying "it is important to be honest with your grandchildren, but also let them know 'I am going to love you and take care of you'."
Elaine also discussed some of the difficulties grandparents face in raising their grandchildren, the lack of privacy they were used to, the fatigue of raising young children again as an older parent and the differences in culture (of when they were that age) the internet, technology and all the social media that they do not know how to use or access. "Make a point of having your grandchildren teach you the new technology."
"It is important to share their life stories with their grandchildren and the kids love it. They get to understand their grandparents in a different era. Grandparents have a vast amount of wisdom accumulated from their life experiences, share that portion of you, teach values and have fun!"
When asked what she hoped to accomplish with this book, Elaine shared that while researching and interviewing grandparents from across the country, she saw and felt the kind of courage, strength and love these people had for their grandchildren and how it inspired her. "Grandparents are important and they matter!"
Elaine Williams has a master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan and has spent her career working with children, adolescents, and older adults. Along with her degree, Elaine became a certified hypnotherapist in 2006. Her expertise is in the areas of trauma, loss, life transitions, and inter-generational communication. Elaine is the mother of three daughters and has five grandchildren. She is the author of the book The Sacred Work of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren published in 2011.
This segment of Parent Choices for Struggling Teens was sponsored by Grand River Academy, www.grandriver.org, a transition boarding school for boys in NE Ohio.