When families split up due to divorce and neither parent cannot raise the kids, the grandparents often step in and claim custody. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy reports that the legal aspects of grandparents claiming custody of their grandchildren are often daunting and that some choose to raise their grandkids without any legal ties.
While many grandparents must face such issues, there are many more daily challenges that may arise when senior citizens choose to raise their grandkids.
1. Lifestyle changes
When grandparents raise their grandchildren and become involved in every aspect of their lives, they may experience lifestyle changes that alienate them from their friends, who likely do not have such responsibilities. They may see their former friends less often, which can lead to feelings of depression.
2. Physical limitations
As grandparents who raise their grandkids age, they may find themselves challenged with the physical limitations of age. Back trouble, arthritis and limited mobility can all affect their ability to raise young children effectively. This is especially difficult when the children have special needs or if the grandparents claim custody of an infant.
3. Visitation issues
Grandparents raising their children may find themselves in conflict with their adult children or other members of the family who want to visit the children or make constant changes to visitation agreements. Some parents may try to ignore visitation directives or cause trouble and strife within the family over this custody situation.
Grandparents may also find limited resources if they find themselves raising a grandchild, but reaching out to family and community groups may offer them guidance.