Tips for Raising your Grandchild

Raising children for much of human history has always included multigenerational communities of care. The collective wisdom and experience of grandparents can be a unique perspective and support to grandchildren at any age.

Sometimes, grandparents can find themselves in the position of becoming the primary parents for their grandchildren which may bring about different challenges and emotions for everyone. The transition from grandparent to caregiver is a unique one and every situation is different. While there is no handbook, we aim to provide your family system with support that leads to hope and harmony.

If you are in the position of raising your grandchildren here are a few ideas to consider:

Establish a RoutineSometimes your grandchild is with you because of a real disruption in their lives. Children thrive on routine, so establish a consistent daily routine that includes regular meal times, bedtimes, and other activities. It takes time to adjust to a routine so it’s important to set one right away.
Set Clear BoundariesGiven that the dynamic of your relationship is shifting, establish clear rules and boundaries for your grandchild. Communicate these rules in a clear and consistent manner, including them in the shift in your role.
Create a Stable and Nurturing EnvironmentTransition is difficult for children. As change is happening around them, a constant for your grandchild. If nothing else, it’s crucial  that you create a stable and nurturing environment for your grandchild, where they feel safe and supported.
Encourage Open CommunicationJust as you are walking through this transition, so is your grandchild. It’s likely they are dealing with new and intense emotions. Create a safe and supportive environment where they feel comfortable sharing these thoughts and feelings.
Be Patient. Be Flexible.Raising a child can be challenging, so be patient and flexible, both towards yourself and the child. It will take time to navigate the ups and downs of caregiving and showing grace removes some of the pressure off the process.
Work with the Child’s Parents If possible, work with the child’s parents to establish clear roles and boundaries. This can help create a more stable and supportive environment for the child. Keeping your grandchild’s health and wellness at the forefront of decisions can help keep all the adults in their lives focused and together in their support.

Remember that raising a grandchild is a unique experience, and it’s important to be patient, flexible, and open to learning and growing as a caregiver. This is a unique transition for which you and your grandchild for which you need support. If you need help, connect with Decade2Connect and speak with one of our clinicians – we’re here for you and your evolving family!

Our Intensive Outpatient Program is in-network with United!