I am a grandmother/great grandmother raising my offspring’s offspring. All have had problems, which I have handled with varying degrees of success over the years. I am presently raising my great grandson. He has proven to be the most difficult. There are many issues which are unique to grandparents and many more which we share with all parents. The major issue with grandparents who have older grandchildren seems to be a lack of bonding. We are seen as “really, really old” and largely irrelevant to the modern world. I have had to rethink a lot of the attitudes and expectations that I have brought with me from decades ago that are as strange to this boy as wagon trains were to me. Furthermore, I cannot go in-line skating, skateboarding, or play a fast game of ball. Nor do I have a social network of parents with children his age.
With Jacob, I have had to deal with diagnoses of ODD, ADD/ADHD, and possible bipolar or PTSD issues. I wasted his early years making excuses for him, even when I knew that no other kids were doing all the (bad) things that he was. It is a lot harder now to get control; he is in counseling, on dietary supplements, and under the close supervision of the teachers and principal at his school. We have dealt with lying, stealing, explosive anger, bullying, vandalism, and fighting battles over the daily requirements of life.
He is responding to the dietary changes, use of natural and logical consequences (I was very bad at establishing these), raising his fences and making them Jacob-proof, and a careful introduction of anything out of the ordinary into his life. I owe any success I have had to the information available on the internet. I have found Empowering Parents to be especially helpful and I am grateful for it.
For my part, I have learned how to take his behavior without losing my temper. He has responded by not losing his so often. It is an uphill struggle, but we are taking it day by day.
Parent Blogger “Gigi” has a PhD in physiology and taught entering nursing students for many years. She is the mother of four and is currently raising her 9-year-old grandson, Coby.