By guest author: Amy Trenton
Children need attention, especially during their formative years, and any changes to the family dynamic can lead to a lot of confusion and problems. The addition of a new family member in the home can certainly have this effect, and while it means that the kids may have the chance to see their beloved grandparents more than they normally would, it also means that they’re going to have to make some concessions in their own lives.
This is something that a lot of children simply aren’t ready to do. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that they probably don’t understand exactly how much change is on the way.
When Elderly Grandparent Moves in ~
When an elderly grandparent moves in, you will be providing some care for them, which means your attention will be split. This can be almost devastating for really young children, but it can even create issues with kids in their teens. If you were stretched to the limit before, running the kids to school, activities, and maintaining the household, things are only going to get busier with your new responsibilities. To your kids, it may feel like their world is coming apart when you can’t continue devoting the same amount of time to them.
When Elderly Grandparent Moving in ~
When a grandparent moves in, there will be a few immediate concerns for your children. Most of these concerns will revolve around privacy and how your time will be split between them and the newcomer. Whether they are being displaced from their own bedroom, or just find themselves with less TV time, there are a lot of adjustments that will need to be made.
There are a couple other issues that may come up, however. For example, there will now be another authority figure in the house. When the grandparent asks the child to do something, they will expect it to be done. They may even start to comment on your own parenting methods. You need to let your parents know that you are the one in charge of disciplining your own children, but your kids should know that they need to respect and help their grandparents.
When Elderly Grandparents Move in ~
Preparing Your Children
Children have a much easier time adjusting to change if it is something that was expected. One of the best things you can do to facilitate this transition, then, is to speak openly and plainly to them as early as possible. Remember that your kids have a natural sense when things aren’t quite right or when there’s a problem on the horizon. Simply easing their anxieties in this way can make things work a lot more smoothly.
It’s also important to stay positive during this period. If you’re always complaining about having to get rid of your favorite furniture or what it will be like to provide care for them all the time, your children will pick up on it. Set the right example for your kids as early as possible.
If your children are old enough, you might also give them some responsibilities to help take care of the grandparent. They may feel like it’s just another chore at first, but at the same time it will add to a sense of inclusion – it will let them know that the family unit is still whole, and that everyone together can provide better care than one person alone.
Most importantly, listen closely to any of their concerns and speak openly about them. If they are harboring resentment or having trouble adjusting, you need to know about it as soon as possible so you can help them come to terms with the situation and make the most of having a beloved grandparent around so much.
About the Author: Amy Trenton is a representative of Rescue Alert, a manufacturer of medical alert systems. Amy enjoys giving tips for caretakers of elderly loved ones. Click here to visit our website.