Role of grandparents as caregivers for grandchildren

Role of grandparents as caregivers for grandchildren




Today, never like before, grandparents are assuming the role of taking care of their grandchildren.  Reasons for this trend include parental death, mental health problems, incarceration, physical disability, financial instability, love for children, alcohol and drug abuse. Grandparents are known to be experienced in the parenting process and therefore able to take good care and impart various life lessons on grandchildren. They offer real life stories, predictability, and stability, are role models, provide emotional support and inculcate good behavior in children (Dunifon, 2013). It is easier for children to relate more closely and discuss life issues with grandparents thereby helping solve life challenges facing them. Grandparents are also known to posses stronger familial bonds, and are therefore able to take good care of their grandchildren.

Children brought up by grandparents are believed to be at a greater risk of emotional and behavioral problems than those brought up by their parents. Grandparents are known to be more loving, relaxed and bumper their grandchildren hence unable to reprimand and discipline them whenever they error. This makes them difficulty to handle and are less adjusted to life situations and challenges than their peers taken care by their parents. Grandparents also lack enough time, resources and provide a less favorable family environment for children to live in. Furthermore, due to old age, majority of them find the process of taking care of these kids to be cumbersome and challenging (Dunifon, 2013).

It is important to note that leaving ones children to be taken care by grandparents has its own advantages and disadvantages and parents should therefore balance between taking care of their children and leaving them with their grandpar


Dunifon, R. (2013). The influence of grandparents on the lives of children and adolescents. Child         development perspectives, 7(1), 55-60.

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