More and more grandparents in Texas and across the country are finding themselves taking child custody of their grandchildren as they become full-time parents for their grandchildren. As a result many grandparents who were planning on using their golden years to explore together and check off items on their bucket list are finding themselves regulating the cell phone use of their grandchildren. These grandparents are not able to spoil their grandchildren and then hand the grandchildren back to the parents.
In the United States today, there are 3.1 million children who live without a parent in their lives. Of those 3.1 million children without a parent in their lives, about 60 percent live with their grandparents. Grandparents today are filling in the roles of parents when parents are not able to because of physical or mental illness, death, financial problems, incarceration, substance abuse and military deployment. Take the story of one pair of grandparents from Highland Village, Texas.
The grandparents from Highland Village, Texas became the parents of their grandchild when their son went through a divorce. The son initially asked his parents if they would be able to temporarily take custody of his child. The grandparents turned down the offer for temporary child custody and asked for permanent custody with the option of relinquishing custody once their son demonstrated he was able to care for his child again. The grandparents say their son and his former wife were not able to properly care for the child. The grandparents’ granddaughter was 10 months old when they took her in and she has been with them ever since. She is now a teenager and calls her grandmother her “Mom.”
Source: USA Today, “More grandparents taking on a second run of parenting,” Sharon Jayson, 7/27/11