When your grandchildren can not be with their parents, you may be able to obtain legal guardianship and raise them yourself.
Living with grandparents allows children to maintain a sense of stability and stay connected with their families and culture. While it can be challenging, there are ways to make the transition easier.
1. Provide stability
For children whose lives have just changed dramatically, familiar routines can be comforting. Establish a schedule for meals and bedtimes. Consistency with rules and boundaries is also important. Your grandchildren may not always enjoy following the rules, but structure and predictability can make them feel more secure.
2. Validate their feelings
Even if your grandchildren were not safe with their parents, they might still miss them or wish they could be together again. While you may not understand or agree with these feelings, it is important to listen and acknowledge your grandchildren’s emotions. However, you should avoid venting your own feelings to your grandchildren.
3. Help them feel at home
Your grandchildren need to know that they are members of the household, not just guests in your home. Give them their own space and allow them some freedom to decorate it as they wish. Encourage them to have friends over. Make sure your grandchildren understand that your house is their home.
4. Take care of yourself
Becoming your grandchildren’s primary caregiver is a major transition for everyone. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. Be sure to take time to care for your own mental and physical health.
Becoming your grandchildren’s legal guardian can give you an opportunity to raise them in a loving and stable home.