ERIC Number: ED401044
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Grandparents as Parents: A Primer for Schools. ERIC Digest.
An increasing number of American grandparents, from all socioeconomic and ethnic groups, have taken on the role of surrogate parents to their grandchildren. Reasons behind this trend involve a variety of family circumstances, including the death of one or both parents, parental abandonment, the high incidence of divorce, an increase in the number of never-married mothers (especially teen mothers), and parental imprisonment, drug addiction, or mental illness. Schools can contribute to helping grandparents cope with the stress of parenting the second time around through the following strategies: (1) examining school policies on enrollment; (2) having helpful information on hand for grandparents acting as parents; (3) keeping in mind that short-term "respite care" for young and school-age children often tops the "wish list" of grandparent caregivers; (4) being sure that school policy supports appropriate referrals for educational, health, and social services, as needed; (5) keeping in mind that school may be a much different place from the schools that grandparents remember; and (6) using "family-friendly" strategies to encourage surrogate parents to take an active role in their children's education. Educators can also help children cope with the stresses of adjusting to their living arrangements by implementing the following strategies: (1) anticipating transitional or adjustment difficulties and act to minimize them; (2) looking for children's strengths and build on them; (3) placing children living with grandparents with the most stable and experienced teachers; and (4) trying not to single out children because of their family status in front of peers or other teachers. Children from families headed by grandparents constitute a growing proportion of students in schools. Schools that recognize and support these nontraditional families will be able to provide better service to their communities. (LPP)
Descriptors: Enrollment, Family Characteristics, Family Involvement, Family Problems, Family School Relationship, Family (Sociological Unit), Family Structure, Grandchildren, Grandparents, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Information Dissemination, Referral, Respite Care, Student Needs, Student School Relationship, Teacher Student Relationship
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.