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This post is the second in a series on custodial grandparenting, with information from Dr. Jeongeun (Jel) Lee, a Human Sciences Extension and Outreach State Specialist who studies gerontology. Miss last week’s post? Check it out here.
Dr Lee, last week we talked about the importance of sharing information about grandparents that are parenting their grandchildren. This week we would like to focus on some of the great things that occur. What can you share with us?
“You’re right, prior studies have often emphasized stressors and negative outcomes while disregarding the positive aspects of custodial grandfamilies. However, it is common for caregivers to report positive feelings. This includes:
- The satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, sensing personal growth, and increased purpose in one’s life.
- Gratification from passing on a tradition of care and modeling caregiving to their grandchildren has also been reported.
- Similarly, love for and commitment to a custodial grandchild can lend value and satisfaction to the caregiving role.
Scholars also found that the perception the grandparent has on their experience as a caregiverare associated with positive and negative well-being outcomes respectively among custodial grandparents.(Meaning that grandparents positive perceptions can create positive outcomes).”
What are some things we can do to help grandparents with their caregiving?
“It is important to validate both the positive and negative emotions expressed by custodial grandparents, explore the sources of these emotions, and help these grandparents stay positive. Assisting grandparents to modify their own expectations for caregiving is a worthy task, as the situation itself cannot necessarily be changed.”
Whitley, D. M., & Fuller-Thomson, E. (2017). African–American solo grandparents raising grandchildren: A representative profile of their health status. Journal of community health, 42(2), 312-323.