It can be difficult raising a grandchild. At the Law Offices of Dwayne Douglas, P.C., we understand that there are many older residents in Illinois and elsewhere who are raising their children’s children. If you are a custodial grandparent, you face numerous challenges, both physical and emotional, that are different from when you raised your own children.
It is not unusual for grandparents to have child-raising responsibilities. U.S. News and World Report states that in 2015, 2.9 million children across the country lived solely with their grandparents, a significant rise from previous years. You and other grandparents may have temporary or permanent custody of your grandchildren for reasons ranging from the death of one or both parents, parental divorce, substance addiction, child abuse, mental problems or financial difficulties.
It can also be rough on your grandchildren to lose the time spent with their parents. They might act out in school or at home, experience social problems, experiment with drugs or develop depression or anxiety. You could find it unexpected and inconvenient to be given the responsibility of raising a new generation. You have already raised your own children, and you might have been looking forward to retirement and spoiling your grandkids, then sending them home – not disciplining and raising them.
Of course, you love your grandchildren and you may even have fought for custody when you knew the situation warranted it. You should understand that you are not alone. There are numerous resources available to help custodial grandparents, from support groups to social services. Our page on grandparents’ rights explains more.