Grandparents do it Tough

Finding out that you are going to be a grandparent can be the most wonderful news as you imagine days spent lavishing love and attention on grandchildren.

This dream however is often not the reality…..grandparenting can be a tough gig.

Providing childcare for working parents, providing permanent care for grandchildren, the effects of relationship breakdown in their adult children, combined with the fact that they may also be providing care for elderly parents….all while trying to hold down an job, are the biggest challenges facing today’s grandparents.

Sometimes grandparents, particularly grandmothers, who provide the majority of the care , can feel put upon , and struggle with wanting some time to themselves but also wanting to be there to support their family.

Issues around setting boundaries regarding expectations of adult children can emerge. In addition possible conflicts around parenting styles can occur, along with financial implications for grandparents whose careers take a back seat.

Feelings of guilt can occur if grandparents are not seen as always available, along with feeling isolated from peers, physical and mental issues can emerge.

On the other hand grandparents also report that they have found having care of grandchildren has enriched their lives. Grandparents enjoy the challenge of physically keeping up with their grandchildren, along with trying to keep abreast of all the technology grandchildren are familiar with.

It would appear then, that whilst being a grandparent today can bring many rewards as we are more involved with our children and grandchildren’s lives, this can at times however be a doubled edge sword, as grandparents endeavour to juggle their own lives to meet everyone’s demands.

Providing more support and information to grandparents about issues of interest or concern, along with providing more practical support such as services available in the community or parenting strategies is necessary.

As a result of this growing need for information around all aspects of grandparenting , Centacare has developed a program aimed at providing information for grandparents. Issues such as child development and impact on behaviour, discipline and grandchildren, setting boundaries and effective communication, technology and cyber safety, self-care and accessing community resources are all covered in this program.

This 3 hour program aims to provide grandparents with knowledge, information and support, to assist them in the valuable role they play in our community. To book into, or find out more about this course or any of the courses Centacare offers around parenting please contact Centacare on 08 82108200 or visit the Centacare website on http://www.centacare.org.au

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