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Help for Grandparents Caring for Children Due to a Crisis

By Joannie DeBrito, Ph.D., LCSW, LMFT
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Grandparents Caring for Children Due to a Crisis
Grandparents Caring for Children Due to a Crisis
Grandparents sometimes have to provide safe and loving homes for grandchildren when their children, the parents of those little ones, are unable to do so.

There’s a group of heroes we rarely hear about. It’s grandparents who provide safe and loving homes for their grandchildren when their children, the parents of those little ones, are unable to do so. Sometimes those parents are physically or mentally ill and other times, they have passed away.

If you are one of these grandparents, it must be difficult to manage right now as the COVID19 pandemic has added stress to your family situation. But your commitment to your grandchildren is a testimony to your strength and that strength, along with wisdom gained throughout your life will likely help you persevere as you have so many times before.

Unsung Heroes

At Focus on the Family, we care about you and your family, so we’ve produced a video that has some practical suggestions for grandparents caring for their grandkids due to a crisis. We hope it helps you cope with this latest worldwide health crisis. You can take a look at that here:

Practical Suggestions

In addition to some of the specific tips provided in the video, here are some other suggestions for staying well as a grandparent caring for grandchildren.

  1. As mentioned in the video, self-care is important at this time. Actually, self-care is important at all times. So, grandparents, in addition to eating well, staying hydrated, getting exercise and getting plenty of sleep, remember to schedule well checks with your doctor and dentist once or twice per year. Also, keep up with those immunizations and preventive care procedures that are important for maintaining optimal health.
  2. Establish a daily routine and stick to it. This will help you maintain focus, be productive and teach grandchildren how to manage their time well.
  3. Maintain friendships with peers. Your grandchildren are an important part of your life but so are your friends. It is important for you as grandparents to be able to spend time with people who can encourage and support you.
  4. Try to arrange regular times of respite from your grandchildren. Talk with friends or extended family members about caring for your grandchildren from time to time so you can get a break.
  5. Embrace a passion. Spend time doing something you really love on a regular basis.
  6. Be intentional about tending to your spiritual life. Be in fellowship with other believers, attend church, read your Bible and pray. Ask others to pray for you.

Navigate family life with grace and love!

Daniel P. Huerta, Focus on the Family's Vice President of Parenting, presents a collection of seven powerful character traits designed to help parents grow and thrive while raising Godly children.

Legacy Coalition

You might also find it helpful to explore other resources that are specifically designed for Christian grandparents. One such resource is the Legacy Coalition. In his declaration, founder Larry Fowler states:

“Intentional Christian grandparents build strong relationships with both the parents and the grandchildren, and approach every interaction as an opportunity to influence their grandchildren and perpetuate their faith to future generations.”

For more information, visit www.legacycoalition.com.

© 2020 by Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. 

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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

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About the Author

Joannie DeBrito, Ph.D., LCSW, LMFT

As the current Director of Parenting and Youth at Focus on the Family, Joannie DeBrito draws from over 30 years of diverse experience as a parent educator, family life educator, school social worker, administrator and licensed mental health professional.

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