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Ready or Not, More Grandparents Are Raising Their Granchildren
Chemical Dependency is stranding children like never before. Opioid addiction, in particular, has made unprecedented numbers of parents unfit for the job.
So, who’s raising the children? It has become quite clear that Grandparents across the island and the United Kingdom are stepping up to this role. Research from a leading Paediatrician and Child Development researcher Andrew Adesman, MD and Health sciences author Christine Adamec teamed up to write a first of its kind self help book for Grandparents called ‘ The Grandfamiy Guidebook:Wisdom and Support for Grandparents raising Grandchildren.’
This book is available from Silkworth Charity Group and is a godsend for lots of grandparents navigating this new ‘ new normal ‘ for themselves and their grandchildren as the result of the birth parents drug and/or alcohol addiction, immaturity, incarceration or other issues.
While grandfamilies are often formed in crisis situations, they are built and strengthened over time. This is something that Christine Adamec knows first hand, as her and her husband have been raising their 12 year old grandson since child protection caseworkers showed up on their doorstep with him as an infant.
“ Raising a family for the second time around can be very disorienting,” Christine Adamec attests. “ It certainly was a new role for us, and all kinds of recommendations and guidelines had changed since we were first parents – starting with really basic questions such as whether to place a baby on his stomach or back to sleep.”
From coping with difficult birth parents to handling legal, medical and financial issues to addressing problem behaviours and school challenges, The Grandfamily Guidebook offers expert advice along with practical tips, helpful scenarios, trusted resources and powerful insights from other grandparents who’ve been there. Grandparents describe a dizzying range of feelings as they take on the role of parenting again, from shock to joy and everything in between.
The book also highlights findings from Dr Adesman’s grandfamily Study, a comprehensive nationwide survey of more than 700 grandparents raising their grandchildren. Among the key findings:
“It can be daunting to start the parenting job all over again at age of 50, 60 or older,” says Adesman. “Family dynamics are complicated and the daily tasks of parenting are demanding, but nearly all of the grandparents I surveyed said that, knowing what they know now, they would do it all over again.
As one grandparent in the Adesman study commented, “Life is not perfect. It is messy, frustrating, funny, emotional – a hilarious roller coaster ride. Buckle up .”
Adesman concurs that all sorts of ups and downs are part of the grandfamily journey. "But the bottom line is love.”
A statement from one grandparent really evaluates beautifully the value of their intervention when taking on the parental role of their grandchildren. It’s this kind of love that makes a grandfamily so special
“ When our grandchildren needed us, we stepped up and assumed responsibility for their care and wellbeing.” This is real love and something that cannot be ignored.
Are you a grandparent that can relate to the sentiments highlighted in this leaflet ?
Call to speak confidentially with one of our experts now.
Tel: 01534 729060
The Sillworth Charity Group is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the Channel Islands leading non-profit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults and youth, the organisation has a number of established facilities within the island and collaborates with an expansive network throughout health care. With a legacy that began in 1994 and includes the 2003 founding of Silkworth Lodge, the organisation today also encompasses an addiction research centre, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical educational programmes, school based prevention resources and a specialised programme for children who grow up in families with addiction
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