raising grandkids

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I am very curious to hear from any of you who are raising your grandchildren. I am now in this position. My husband and I are raising our 9 month old granddaughter. Since having her, I am running into more and more grandparents who are doing the same. What are your thoughts on this? Hoot,and others, I would appreciate your thoughts and comments on this in a Biblical perspective. In His Grace, Sissy

-- Sissy Sylvester-Barth (jerreleene@hotmail.com), July 18, 2001


I am not technically raising mine, but I do have at least 2 out of 4 for about 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. So it feels like it! Sometimes LOL sometimes not. I still have children of my own at home too. In fact, 3 of my grandchildren are older than my youngest son, so it gets confusing around here. Biblically, I believe our priority, after the Trinity, of course, is to our family. I know, in my case there is no way our daughter can afford day care so I do this to help out. There are times , I confess, that I feel used, but I think that's just a bad attitude on my part. It's probably when I'm PMSing. Ha!

-- Deena in GA (dsmj55@aol.com), July 18, 2001.

My grandparents raised me.....well for all intents and purposes they did. My dad left for work at 7 am and didn't get home till 8pm so about all we did was sleep over at his house. It was my grandma that washed my clothes, took care of me when I was sick, told the principal at school that he was a big fat blowhard(boy I sure did love granny :o), and really just took care of me. I followed grandpa on the farm every chance I got.....he told me my first off color joke (not dirty but it would make ya giggle). My grandparents did an awesome job....I was really really lucky to have them. The only problem is that they wouldn't talk to me about anything like boys...other than saying 'don't!' or about any of the other things teens are faced with in public schools now. My Dad was dead by the time I was old enough to be facing any of these problems and my grandparents just didn't know how to handle a teen in this day and age (well it was in the 80's...not too long ago). Hehe don't know how many younger parents are prepared to handle teens....guess I ought not be so hard on granny. What I'm saying is that lots of times the grandparents raising a child(especially now) is soooooooo much better for the children in a lot of cases. I was so close to both of grandparents. I didn't miss out because they didn't play ball with me and stuff like that. They taught me lots of stuff that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. I'm sure you will do an awesome job with your granddaughter!

-- Amanda (mrsgunsmyth@hotmail.com), July 18, 2001.

I'm "sorta" raising a granddaughter. I have her about 4 days a week (including nights), sometimes most of the week. Definately more than her parents have her. In my case, my daughter and her dh are married, and pretty responsible, however it's become harder and harder to find decent childcare and I am very much against full time daycare situations anyway so I volunteered. My daughter lives too far away to be able to transport my granddaughter back and forth each night, otherwise I would only have her during the day. My daughter and her dh pay me some, not as much as daycare, but enough to help with gas and expenses. They do not abuse the situation, and are looking for ways for my daughter to be able to be a stay at home mom. It is still very hard for me (I have some health problems and 2 yr olds aren't easy) but after praying about it, I felt it was the right thing to do. I cannot see handing this child over to strangers. It is hard, but we have plenty of good times too (lots of laughs) and my granddaughter wakes up every morning knowing someone who loves her is here for her.

Biblically, it appears to me that grandparents or other family, someone who loves the child and has an interest in their future, is by far a better alternative than letting someone who doesn't have the interest or even your same beliefs/morals/values raise the child. I believe we have an obligation to our family. Naturally, if parents are abusing this (able to take care of their child but won't) than they will have to answer to God. But that doesn't excuse our obligation, if we are able in any manner to help. I don't want to stand in front of Him someday and tell Him my grandchild was raised by strangers because I was too busy, too lazy, not interested etc. Some days I feel like tearing my hair out, but how many of us get the privilege of helping to shape our grandchild's future? I am teaching her the abc's, colors, how to do puzzles, and we read bible stories together (her favorite). I just now got a big good morning hug and kiss from her, and she told me she knew she was "Grammie's sweetheart" and that God loves her too. Thinking back to my childhood, I know grandparents have a great impact on their grandkids.

The other day my granddaughter was arguing with me, not wanting to sit in her car seat. I told her her parents said she had to, and the policeman said she had to so there was no use arguing about it. She thought a minute and said, "Well, what I want to know is what does GOD have to say about it?!" Guess she's learning at an early age who the final authority is!

Hang in there, I believe it's worth it!

-- Lenette (kigervixen@webtv.net), July 18, 2001.

Hey Sissy! I'm in agreement with the previous folks. I believe the Word teaches we are to take care of family. First place in our lives goes to Almighty God. Second place is family. Sometimes circumstances appear that will change our entire lives. Grandbabies are just one of those things. It takes genuine people to care for these little dudes when they themselves may be "gettin on in years". Of course, just who in their right mind would reject a precious little grandchild because it would change their "golden years"? Quite a few I hate to admit! You will be most blessed to continue on with what He's asked you to do. God hears and sees! You have the Love of Almighty God in you're hearts and it shows in the way you "talk". ole hoot. Matt.24:44

-- hoot (hoot@pcinetwork.com), July 19, 2001.

Well, I'm not raising any grandkids - my daughter is only 14. However, she is staying with my folks during the school year, so I am on the other side. Sort of like being divorced, but I would MUCH rather have Jen with my parents, than with my x. I was divorced when I was three months pregnant. Took a little over 14 years to decide it was worth the risk again, and then he got a job in Boise. The decision to leave IL was one of the hardest I've ever had to make.

I have friends in Beulah, MO, who raised their granddaughter from the time she was a baby until she was 23. That was quite a trip... Also, only from the outside, though. Their daughter is slightly mentally handicapped, and married to a person who has schitsophrenia (SP???!). When they were first together, neither of them was great at taking their meds, so Barb and her husband took custody of Stephanie. At the time, they didn't have indoor plumbing, phone, or electric. It was quite an undertaking for them. Also, they were both in their sixties when all this took place. Steph is now married and has a wonderful little boy of her own. She always knew the situation, and is comfortable again with her Mother, though Barb and Harv will always be her Mom and Dad.

No - you are NOT alone... I can only say that though I know Jen's opportunities are much better with my Mom and Dad than they would be here, I still have all the guilt that would come with abandoning a child. She might get a better education back home, but she's still not with me... That tears me up. (She wants to be a veterinarian... U of I (IL) has one of the best schools for that in the nation, and Idaho doesn't even have a program for it).

Your own child is incredibly lucky to have you and your husband for parents!! I know from my own situation, that my parents have much more patience, knowledge, insight and experience than I could offer. They are also much more 'grounded' or settled. While I miss Jen greatly when she isn't here, I am (and will be) forever greatful that my folks had the wherewithall, love, and generosity to take care of her.

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), July 19, 2001.

Sue, Seems to me that you aren't "abandoning" your child. (Sometimes we have guilt feelings even when we aren't guilty!) It appears to me that you have weighed all the possibilities and tried to come up with the best option for your child. And if she wants to be a vet, then this is partly her decision also.

My daughter and son-in-law have very high medical expenses which makes it necessary for them both to work full time, at least for now. I don't consider their leaving their daughter with me an act of abandonment, but making the best choice they can given their circumstances. A far cry from being an uninvolved parent with no sense of responsibility whatsoever, who literally dumps their child on grandparents and takes the easy way out. You obviously don't belong in that category, and have given a great deal of thought as to what's best for your child. While I'm sure you miss her dearly, please don't agonize over your choice. Love her as best you can from a distance, make the most of your time together when you do have her, and don't forget that there are undoubtedly some great things she will learn from her grandparents, things you couldn't even teach her. I sure wish I could have spent more time with my grandparents as a child.

Hugs, Lenette

-- Lenette (kigervixen@webtv.net), July 19, 2001.

My children are nearly 17, 19 and 23, no grandchildren yet. I have a very different take on this. I certainly don't want my grandchildren in a day care, being taken care of by folks who make minimum wage! I didn't put my kids into daycare either. If my daughters or daughters in laws, or son:) don't choose or can't stay home with the kids, it was a sacrifice, than I will gladly help with the raising of the kids. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), July 19, 2001.

Thankyou everyone for your comments. I feel there is no choice in whether I want to raise my granddaughter or not. She is my family. My daughter is in the Air Force stationed about 2 hours from us. So, she can come see her daughter whenever she can, and I can also take her down there. It is unfortunate that my daughter made a wrong choice in having her daughter outside of marriage, she sure was taught differently. But, our God, in His great wisdom and love, gave us choices. I am only praying that she learned from this choice. My daughter never really bonded with the baby, and doesn't seem to have any natural instincts toward raising her. She is sadden by this I know. So, I am grateful that God is giving us strenght to raise another child. Our baby is 16! In His Grace, Sissy

-- Sissy Sylvester-Barth (jerreleene@hotmail.com), July 20, 2001.

Not exactly biblical, but in times of Christ, many people live in family compounds. When a child was married, he simply build onto the compound. This is one reason why a engagement is suppose to be one year. Thats the time required to build a home for your bride.

With that housing context, its seems to me that grandparents and what we call extended family would have been taking care of the children while the father and younger females worked.

While I dont think you should assume your grandparent would take care of your child, If the grandparents are mental and physically capabile and "REALLY" willing to do it, its far better than wearhousing children in daycare.

-- Gary (gws@redbird.net), July 25, 2001.

I have my grand-daughter who is two seven days a week, day and night, I also have a six year old and ten year old, my problem is my daughter she is striping nights, and goes out to party after work, and never helps with her baby, and its hard on me, real hard, I find very little time for rest EVER! but I take care of the baby cause she is safe with me, yet my husband is wanting my daughter out of the home and baby!!!! and he doesn't understand why I take care of the baby, my daughter has a bad temper and hits the baby, and never gives her attition, so if you have a answer to this let me know!

-- kathy tilton (kathy@pack105.net), June 06, 2003.

Like many of the other responses, I am not currently raising my grandkids,but if circumstances required it I would step up to the plate in a heartbeat! I would rather know my grandkids are safe with me than in some strangers home. There is nothing wrong with asking the parents to pay SOMETHING (even half what daycare might run) to help out with your own groceries and for your time, they are still saving money and have the peace of knowing their child is well taken care of! And to Kathy who responded and has a daughter and grandchild staying with her, if your daughter hits the child it might be wise to consider filing for custody of the child yourself,to protect the child. Maybe your daughter would agree,to lighten her load,and in the end protect your grandchild. Good luck!

-- Lisa French (funnyfarm1995@hotmail.com), March 02, 2004.

i am wanting help in how to deal with my daugther and law with her 3 girls there ages are 7, 5, 2 they are not aloud to be along with her at anytime while her husband my son is at work they are in my hushand and my home i am taking care of then, ok i alound the mother to visit with then in my home 1 or 2 times a week,ok when she is over she is always screening at then mire at the 7 year old can you help me in how to deal with it i don't have that much troulbe when they are here with just me. what can i do help me

-- debbie cooper (dacooper43@alltel.net), August 13, 2004.

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