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Parenting For The Second Time Essay

1233 words - 5 pages

Parenting can be a challenge the first time around, but many parents are finding themselves parenting for a second time, this time around, as the child’s grandparents. Grandparents may assume the role of parent for their child’s children when there are problems of substance abuse, abuse and neglect, incarceration, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, divorce, and death. (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.1) Grandparents usually are not expecting to have to parent again, this is the time most are enjoying their new found freedom. They expect to have a freedom to choose what they want to do, come and go as they please without the responsibility of another human being. Due to the many years they have not been parents, many grandparent will need to be educated on the recent changes to being parents. Some of the areas may include: child development, newly discovered childhood disorders such as ADHD or ADD, depression, and conduct disorders. (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.2) In many instances the grandparents will shape their parenting of their grandchildren by how they raised their own children and where they are now socioeconomically. (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.3) Many of the grandparents interviewed for this study described the feeling of “personal satisfaction” as they tried to do things differently with the raising of their grandchildren than they did with their own children.
For this study, fifty-two grandparents and their grandchildren were recruited to participate. Of the fifty-two, forty-one also consented to an interview. (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.3) The criteria to participate in the study was: “grandparents had to meet the United States Census Bureau (2002) definition of a grandparent caregiver, grandparents were required to have a legal relationship to their grandchild, grandparents had to be raising at least one grandchild between the ages of 11 and 18 years” (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.4). Forty of the grandparents interviewed, were women. (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.4) Information collected from the grandparents and grandchildren included the following: “age, gender, racial background, and educational attainment, household income, relationship status, the number of years they had been raising their grandchildren, and whether their grandchildren had contact with the middle generation” (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.4).Grandparents were also asked what areas they found stressful and then what they found in the grandparent relationship to experience happiness. The emotional bond found between the grandparents and their grandchildren was found to be much of the same as those with their own children. (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.6) Many felt since they were raising their grandchildren just as they raised their own there was no difference in the way should feel towards them. They felt as if they should raise them in the same fashion as they did their own children. (Dolbin-MacNab, 2006, p.6) While others seen the mistakes they had made and felt they were more prepared this time around to be...

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