October 19, 2010
It can be difficult to grab time for reading when you’re a grandparent caring for a young child. However, we recommend making time while your grandchild is at school or childcare to check out these resources. All are written within the last 20 yearsthe research and support on kincare grandparents is a relatively new field.The Essential Grandparent: A Guide to Making a Difference by Dr. Lillian Carson (Health Communications, Inc., 1997) is a valuable resource for any grandparent that has or desires a close relationship with their grandchildren. However, it’s especially useful for grandparents caring for their grandchildren while trying to navigate their relationship with their adult child. If the parent is not able to care for the child himself or herself, it can create strains in the familial dynamic.Relatives Raising Children: An Overview of Kinship Care edited by Joseph Crumbley and Robert L. Little (Child Welfare League of America, 1997) is geared toward child welfare professionals, but its discussion of legal and clinical topics of interest to kinship caregivers (like legal rights and both sides’ feelings of anger or anxiety) makes it an important book for grandparents as well.Raising Our Children’s Children by Deborah Doucette-Dudman with Jeffrey R. Lacure (Fairview Press, 1997) collects several case studies of kinship care arrangements, written by an author who is a grandparent caregiver herself. The book tackles the difficult issues of why a birthparent would become unwilling or unable to care for their own child, and how best a grandparent can step in to the situation.Ticklebelly Hill: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren by Hilda Osborne (AuthorHouse, 2003) is a non-clinical memoir of one grandparent’s experience raising grandchildren. Many grandparents will be able to associate with her mixed feelings at her daughter’s choices and her new responsibilities. Ultimately, however, the book is uplifting and reveals the bright side of a grandparent-caregiver relationship.