Raising grandkids can be a challenge, and a gift

A growing number of local grandparents are now finding themselves stepping up to the challenge of raising their own children’s children.

Having actively experienced one round of parenting, a growing number of local grandparents are now finding themselves stepping up to the challenge of raising their own children’s children.

This is a growing trend, happening not only in Nakusp and area, but in numerous communities throughout the nation, an offshoot of the radical changes happening in society, taking place globally as well as locally.

For some grandparents, such major shifts in lifestyle are viewed as a welcome turn-of-events, as in the case of local residents John and Sarah. For reasons of confidentiality, I have changed their names to protect their privacy, however the couple’s story still remains true.

Having chosen to retire early followed by relocation to Nakusp, the couple soon moved into their new home, to be joined shortly afterward, by their young grandson Richard. A variety of unexpected changes within Richard’s birth-family home had precipitated the move, and it was mutually agreed that his grandparents would be in the best position to provide the boy with a safe and loving environment in which to grow up.

However, according to Sarah and her husband, the prospect of assuming the responsibility of becoming Richard’s primary caregivers, instead of his natural parents, weighed heavily on their minds. In particular, a major concern was how they were going to handle the significantly higher costs associated with raising a child.

Also of some consequence to consider, the potential emotional crises which might arise amongst various family members,  from time to time, and how such incidents might affect the emotional well-being of Richard. In addition, John and Sarah were concerned about achieving and maintaining a healthy level of acceptance of Richard’s non-traditional living arrangement on the part of their grandson’s  classmates, families and friends.

The couple had little to be concerned about, however, as they were soon to discover.

“We were absolutely astounded by the significant level of caring and support clearly exhibited on the part of this amazing community whenever a need arose,” Sarah declared during our interview, adding, “the District school support system was totally in place.” Not only the administration, but also the teachers, counselors and support staff, other students and their parents all expressed right from the beginning, kindness, understanding and respect toward each of the newly arrived residents.

Peter, another local grandparent who, together with his wife Jean, raised their young  granddaughter for many years at their Nakusp residence, cast further light on the subject.

“The  time I spent with my wife and my own young family was far too limited when they were growing up while I was involved with building my career,” he recalled.

In a sense, however, Peter was given a second chance in later years by warmly inviting the couple’s granddaughter Jill to live with them in their retirement home when difficulties within her own family home began to arise.

“Finally, I had the time for my family which I had always craved,” Peter stated with conviction.

“When Jill  came to live with us, it became evident that this was the ideal opportunity for us as her grandparents, to be able to share our mutual interests and personal concerns with her, on a one-on-one basis.”

Peter says he now takes great pleasure reflecting on how he and Jean made a valuable contribution to their granddaughter’s quality of life by instilling a positive attitude and set of values which in turn has led to her being able to live happily and independently on her own while attending college in a larger urban centre.

Although Nakusp area residents are fortunate in having accessible emotional and practical local support available to them when a need arises, a new province-wide program entitled “The Grandparents (and other family members) Raising Children telephone support Helpline” also recently came into effect.

Essentially this Helpline is an information/referral and counseling resource intended to assist families here at home as well as those residing in any oother B.C. community. Families in crisis often face many intersecting legal and financial issues such as child benefit eligibility. As part of their own journey through life,  caregivers also need to familiarize themselves with various aspects of family law and other parenting concerns including advocacy and government services related to kinship caregiving.

For further information regarding the Helpline service, call toll free 1-855-474-9777.


Just Posted

New Denver losing 24/7 emergency care

Doctor shortage prompts change to local emergency room hours

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Animal protection group urges B.C. vet association to ban cat declawing

Nova Scotia was the first Canadian province to ban declawing

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

B.C. hockey player nominated for Hobey Baker Award

Myles Powell is a forward at Rochester Institute of Technology

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Most Read