GRAND Magazine - September/October 2013 - (Page 66-67)

grandparents raising grandchildren Hidden treasures Finding the upside of a tough situation by Laura montané baILey W photo credIt: ©monkeybusInessImaGes hen a family breaks apart, who picks up the shattered pieces? If the kids are lucky, grandparents step up and take them in. The beauty of this is that the grandparents love the kids as if they were their own . . . because they are. It is a healing and redeeming love. It is also a courageous love, offered at a time when grandparents had other plans. Sometimes, raising a grandchild provides a “do-over” opportunity for grandparents who feel badly about things they did or didn’t do their first time as parents. This time, they’re more wise, patient, engaged, insightful, and eager to take time for joy. They can do things differently, better. When my dad was raising me and my three siblings, he was also running a business, going to school, starting another business, learning to fly, holding leadership positions at church, and on and on. When my daughter stayed with them during the summers of her childhood, he was not doing all that. He was working just enough to keep his business going and had lots of time for his granddaughter. She loved going to his lab and helping him with little projects. Twenty years later, she still remembers those special times. Now, she is raising her own daughter, and my dad sits alone in his lab, remembering the happy days when she was there. Many grandparents raising grandkids are grateful for a chance to make a difference in their grandchildren’s lives and to spend time snuggling, playing, and talking with the most beautiful, wonderful children in the 66 GRAND september october 2013 world. They relish the affection and inhibition of children who know they are accepted, noticed, and loved unconditionally. After all, no one loves “older people” like the grandchildren they care for, and a special bond often forms between children and the grandparents who take them under their wings. This loving relationship can be a salve not only on the child’s wounded heart but also on the wounded heart of the grandparents, who may be mourning their “lost” child, the parent of the grandchild. Grandchildren also bring youthful energy into your home and make you laugh ’til you cry. They keep life interesting, looking at life in fresh new ways and introducing you to things you would never experience otherwise. And they love that you love them. Raising grandchildren is hard work, often under difficult and heartbreaking circumstances. But when courageous love is given freely, the hidden treasures of love and joy flow back to you in return. Laura Montané Bailey, ms/LmFt, is a family therapist who has worked extensively with children in foster care, which inspired her to write the book Courageous Love (available september 2013, at for grandparents raising their grandchildren. september october 2013 GRAND 67

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - September/October 2013

GRAND Magazine - September/October 2013
Congratulations 2013 GRANDparent of the Year Honorees!
Hooray for Grandparents, Ingenuity, and ICE!
GRAND Magazine Best of the Web Awards
Rockin’ the World
Leaving a Legacy
Don Miguel Ruiz: Our Sacred Agreement to Grandchildren
Keepsakes from the Heart
Do Kids Under 5 Get Too Much Screen Time?
Let the Learning Games Begin!
Falling into the Grandma Zone
A Special Grandmother
Ducky Butt, Not Tucky Butt!
GRAND Sponsor: ClearSounds Communications
Terrific Tech Gadgets for the Whole Family
The ABCs of Grandparenting: Who’s Teaching Whom?
Can Bribery Warm a Cold Shoulder?
Keep Your Marriage from Becoming a Casualty of Caregiving
Hidden Treasures

GRAND Magazine - September/October 2013