Most Virginia residents are excited about the potential of becoming grandparents. They often hold dreams of loving and even spoiling a little bit their new loves without the burden of the full parenting responsibilities that they carried when they had their own children. However, many grandparents end up needing to step in as parents. This may be due to parental death, illness, legal challenges or other reasons.
Regardless of why a grandparent must assume parental responsibilities, they need to take care of themselves as well as their grandchildren. HelpGuide.org indicates that it is not uncommon for grandparents in this situation to experience great stress, guilt and even some feelings of grief for themselves and their grandkids. They may even feel a bit of anger at their adult children for abandoning the grandchildren.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy indicates that approximately 2.4 million American grandparents have once again become parents, essentially. In addition to their own emotional needs, their grandchildren may also experience special emotional challenges. Kids in this situation may be more prone to anxiety or trouble in school, requiring special attention on the part of grandparents. It may also require special connections with teachers for added support.
Sometimes support groups or other counseling may be helpful for kids and grandparents alike. Legal issues may also arise as grandparents may need to make sure that they have the legal authority they need to adequately take care of and protect their grandkids. This may be especially important if the biological parents have been in some kind of trouble.