A year ago, we celebrated grandparents in our Fall 2009 Early Literacy Newsletter and acknowledge that more and more grandparents are finding themselves in the unique position of raising their grandchildren, for a variety of reasons.
Fact sheets from the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension Program featuring resources for grandparents are listed below. These are available in English and Spanish and can be reprinted as long as credit is given to the Cooperative Extension Program. (Information provided by Denise Rennekamp, from Brookdale Foundation Relatives as Parents Program).
Moving your grandchild into your home can bring up many emotions for everyone in the family. This article touches on the many ways to make this transition as smooth and positive as possible. Give the children individual attention, and listen to their feelings. Encouraging the children to feel at home by putting up pictures and helping organize their rooms may also make the move easier for your grandchildren.
Visits with your grandchild's parents can be stressful on everyone, but there are ways to make these visits more comfortable. Being flexible with schedules and handling problems away from the child are important in making parent visits successful. Helping children cope with their own stress is also important for their well-being.
Especially when raising your grandchildren is challenging, taking the time to take good care of yourself helps you be better-equipped to care for others. This article provides some ways to take care of yourself, including taking time for yourself, making a to-do list, delegating tasks, making a plan, relaxing, and learning how to do two things at once. Joining or starting a grandparent support group can also you share the challenges of raising your grandchildren.
Dealing with the death of a parent can be hard for grandparents as well as grandchildren. This article explains the basic grieving process, and what it looks like for children of different ages. The article also includes practical ideas to help the child memorialize the parent (e.g., putting pictures of the parent in the child's room, helping them explain their emotions, taking flowers to the cemetery).
No grandparent likes to think about a grandchild being mistreated, but grandparents raising grandchildren need to know about abuse. This article outlines the four basic types of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, and neglect) and the warning signs of each type. The article also includes information about how to help a child who is, or has been, abused.
Many grandparents need financial resources in order to care for their grandchildren. This article outlines some of the qualifications for various financial services (such as TANF, Medicaid, PeachCare and food stamps), as well as the time limits for receiving certain benefits. The article also highlights other supports for grandparents raising grandchildren, including grandparent support groups and community-based activities for children.
Raising grandchildren can bring up some challenging legal questions and concerns. Grandparents raising grandchildren need to be familiar with consent laws, the types of legal custody (legal guardianship, custody order, adoption, etc.), and the importance of having the right kind of lawyer to handle your particular situation.
Caring for infants and toddlers can be challenging. The article focuses on early brain development and other basics of early development, such as how they form attachments, the importance of repeating concepts, ways to incorporate making choices into children's lives, and the ways that reading and singing help their development. The article also provides tips for making sure your home is safe for young children.
Although there is a generation gap between teens and grandparents, there is no reason for you and your grandchild to drift apart as she gets older. Teens look to you as a role model for the ways they should behave. It's important to take time to discuss tough topics like sex, drugs, smoking, and drinking. This article lists tips to keep communication lines open at all times, and stresses the importance of grandparents being askable.
Grandparents can help children get ready to start school by helping them practice skills such as following directions, sitting quietly for short periods of time, and dressing themselves. Activities such as reading aloud and cooking together can help build pre-reading and pre-math skills that will form a bridge between home and school.
Helping your grandchildren develop skills such as self-confidence, good study habits, and the ability to make friends can make a big difference in their learning. This article gives tips on how to help children complete their homework successfully, organize long-term projects, build confidence in their talents and abilities, and learn how to handle mistakes calmly.
Time spent together is some of the most valuable time you and your grandchild can share. This article helps grandparents choose fun activities for children of different ages, and stresses the importance of learning and fun when spending time together. You can do many fun activities at home with inexpensive household objects can be easy and cheap. Included in this article is a list of fun activity ideas for different ages, as well as basic recipes for several types of play dough and finger paint.
Putting your grandchild in child care raises many questions, such as the types of care available and the questions to ask of potential caregivers. Learn why quality child care is important, how to choose a high-quality child care program, and how to make the transition to child care manageable for everyone.
Disciplining grandchildren requires special thought and attention. Grandchildren need to know the rules as well as the consequences for not following them. The article gives guidelines for setting rules, as well as how to respond when children misbehave, how to identify age-appropriate rules/behavior, and how to teach and encourage appropriate behavior.