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MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF RAISING GRANDCHILDREN



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INT L J AGING AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Vol 51 3 183 198 2000 MEETING THE CHALLENGE OF RAISING GRANDCHILDREN ROBERT D STROM SHIRLEY K STROM Arizona State University Tempe ABSTRACT More grandparents are raising grandchildren than ever before The predictable problems they experience include a revision of personal goals learning how growing up has changed since they raised their own children cooperating with the parent who shares responsibility for child care monitoring social and academic progress of children becoming aware of rights and available social services and arranging periodic relief from the daily demands of their surrogate obligations Full time grandparents often rely on support groups for comfort and advice The advantages and limitations of this approach are examined Recommendations are made for ways to improve how support groups function so they can achieve their purposes The authors have tried to assess the potential of grandparents and sought ways to help them become more successful This effort spanning two decades has included studies of large and culturally diverse samples Based upon these investigations we formulated the first curriculum for grandparents constructed instruments to detect their family learning needs and evaluate effects of intervention trained leaders from many countries to deliver grandparent instruction and devised a theory of grandparent development to guide implementation and evaluation of programs Strom Strom 1991a b 1992 1993b 1995 1997 1998 Strom et al 1995 1996a b 1997 183 2000 Baywood Publishing Co Inc 184 STROM AND STROM EXPECTATIONS OF GRANDPARENTS Many participants in our grandparent classes express the belief that the importance of their role is declining because of uncertainty about what should be expected of them in the emerging environment Some maintain changing times have caused them to lose touch with the way younger relatives see things and feel about the world Others are disappointed because they are left out offamily



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