In today's society, there are many grandparents raising grandchildren.
Do you know that nearly 5.5 million children in the U.S. live with their grandparents?
The family or divorced parent (with children) might move back in with their parents, the grandparents of the children - OR - the grandparent moves in with the family... and the child has the grandmother or grandfather living with them.
One million grandparents are still working as they are raising a second family - these grandparents are raising grandchildren now!
The birth parents are unable to raise the children (drug and alcohol abuse, financial problems, etc) so the grandparents become guardians and start all over - raising a family, their own adult childs family.
I never lived with my Grandparents.... but I do know how grandparents can nurture and teach a child. My English grandmother taught me how to crochet and how to play her favorite card game, cribbage, when we were there for our summer week vacation years ago. My grandfather would take us for walks in his garden, or to the corner store (where we got plenty of penny candy), and would sit with me for hours helping me learn math problems with an old math text book. I remember those times and thoroughly enjoyed being the center of their attention.
On the other hand, my grandparents might have had us for a week during summer vacation, but to live and care for grandchildren, when you should be able to enjoy the fruits of your retirement... is sad. All that work, financial necessities, worry for the children, in retirement age.
Being a grandparent can be both a joy and a huge responsibility in your life. You can be helpful to that child, a confidant, mentor, and provide comfort and joy when they need it.
Sometimes parents, in today's society, are so busy providing for the family - that the kids are left to themselves, without the guidance they need from parents. That is where the grandparent can step in - lend your support, your lifetime of experiences, to broaden their thoughts and keep them psychologically healthy.
A few helpful websites are provided below.. there are oodles of them out there! Just do a Google search for "grandparents" or "grandparents raising grandchildren" and you'll find lots of information.
AARP is another great resource to help you through Grandparenting with many topics - health care, financial, legal and housing issues.