GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013 - (Page 58-59)
grandparents raising grandchildren
how not to deal with a troubled grandchild
BY silVie de toledo
enrietta Casper’s 15-year-old grandson is defiant
Grandparents who overcompensate
do so materially and emotionally. Not
go out at night, he just walks out the door. She
only do they try to soothe their grand-
promised her daughter on her deathbed that she would
children with presents, but they also
always care for Adam, and she can’t find it in herself
overlook setting limits. They make al-
even to withhold privileges from the boy. Henrietta is
lowances they never would have made
falling into a classic grandparenting trap: overcompen-
Photo credit: ©sherYl Griffin
and disrespectful. When she tells him he can’t
with their own children.
sation. She is trying to make up for the pain and loss
No matter how much you do for your
Real parenting doesn’t bring the immediate smiles
her grandchild has suffered by attempting to make him
grandchildren, you cannot remove the pain, repair the
happy every moment.
loss, or fill the void inside them. The world has taken away
and laughter that presents do; sometimes, it brings
more than you can put back. Nor do you them any favors
sour looks and loud complaints. But you are doing more
grandparent, you could dote, pamper, spoil, and com-
by giving in. Children need limits to know they are loved
than making your grandchildren happy in the moment.
fort to your heart’s content. Now that you are a surro-
and to develop a sense of who they are. Overcompensat-
You are giving them the necessary tools to grow and
gate parent, you must also discipline and educate your
ing teaches them to expect permissiveness. It lets them
build their futures.
grandchildren. You can’t spoil and educate them at the
feel that the world owes them things and that they don’t
same time; that only sends mixed messages.
have to behave or work to have them. This sense of en-
It’s an easy trap to fall into. When you were only a
titlement can cause all kinds of other problems later in life.
sylvie de toledo, lcsw/Bcd, the
founder and clinical director of
Grandparents as Parents, Inc., is a
child kinship-care expert and author.
Your grandchildren need nurturing and discipline, and
they need consistency in both. They need to know that
you will do what you say you’ll do, even when they may
Excerpted from Grandparents
as Parents: A Survival Guide for
Raising a Second Family, Second
Edition, by Sylvie de Toledo
with Deborah Edler Brown.
not like the outcome.
MAY JUNE 2013
MAY JUNE 2013 GRAND
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013
GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013
You’ve Come a Long Way, Granny
The Grandest Gift
Born Free’s Virginia McKenna
My Aging Brain
Judy Cockerton: Foster parent and innovator
10 Best Story Books for Babies & Toddlers
Fun Toys for Kids of All Ages
News, Products, Tips, and Resources for Today’s Grandparents
Sure Cure for Senior-Time Blues
It’s a Wonderful Life
When a Child Is Removed from the Parents’ Home
GRAND Magazine - May/June 2013