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  Parenting Advice Column
  Subject: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Letter:

Perhaps I've missed something at the site! I would love to see an area here that deals with families like ours.....advice, suggestions, support. We are raising our nearly seven-year-old grandson. Our youngest child is 21. What we need is an opportunity to discuss issues involved in bringing a young child into your lives just when you are reaching the years you thought you'd relax a little! Additionally, we are home schooling him which we have found to be a wonderful, loving, growing experience.

Just wanted to let you know that your site is WONDERFUL and to ask your advice on resources for families like ours. Do you think the Natural Child Project could come up with an area for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren? The few that we have found don't necessarily have as much appreciation for children as we do!

Thanks so much for your site!

Name withheld


Jan's reply:

Hi,

Thank you for visiting our site, and for the wonderful compliments!

I can certainly empathize with you, because my son (only child) was born when I was 38. I've discovered many benefits and a few problems. I feel that I've been more knowledgeable, more personally fulfilled, more patient, and better able to see what a blessing he has been in my life. I have also sometimes wished I had more energy and stamina!

There are many similarities, but there are also some important differences between late parenting and unexpected grandparenting. With the latter, there is sure to be some feeling of disappointment and regret, and perhaps even some mourning for having given up previous plans and expectations on how you would spend this part of your life.

I highly recommend a new article on our site on adoptive parenting, which discusses the need to recognize and deal with this type of loss before one can fully accept what else life has brought. The article is "Affirming the Adoptee's Reality: A Way to Intimacy".

All the best,

Jan

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