Any negative effects of grandparents raising grandchildren take a backseat during times of crisis. If someone’s kids can’t care for their own children—no matter the reason—many grandparents step in to help.
That arrangement, which has skyrocketed recently, brings numerous challenges. So keep reading to learn more. Staying informed helps you care for the grandparents at your church who are raising grandchildren.
First, some stats. An estimated 2.7 million grandparents in America are raising their grandchildren. Those households doubled from 1970 to 2010. Experts cite the drug epidemic and economic downturns as main reasons.
More than one-third of grandparents who care solely for their grandkids do so for more than five years. Without grandparents stepping in, an estimated 25 times more children would be in the foster-care system.
What does that mean for children’s ministers and church leaders? The key takeaway is that children and grandparents need our encouragement and help. They may need transportation, meals, clothes, counseling, childcare, and more.
The “traditional family” structure is a thing of the past. So family ministers must acknowledge the role—and stresses—of grandparents as well as parents.
To help all families thrive, we must point them to Jesus. He loves people regardless of their age or home life. We can speak into the lives of kids and grandparents with the Gospel. And we can bridge age gaps by providing opportunities to worship, study, and fellowship together.
Grandparents offer children love and stability. But their physical and financial resources go only so far. So take a moment to discover some negative effects of grandparents raising grandchildren.
6 Negative Effects of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Experts point to several negative effects of grandparents raising grandchildren. Here are a few common challenges for so-called “grandfamilies”:
1. Physical challenges
Because of their age, grandparents may have health challenges or limited energy. That can make it tough to care for active grandkids. Raising children is physically demanding and also impacts sleep. Meanwhile, kids may suffer if grandparents follow outdated health or safety practices.
2. Financial challenges
Raising children is expensive. Yet many grandparents live on fixed incomes. An estimated 20% of grandparents have incomes below the federal poverty line.