Pubdate: Tue, 04 Jun 2002
Source: Times Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2002 Times Daily


The Issue

In Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale and Lawrence counties, 2,287 grandparents 
serve as the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

We Suggest

Everyone take a moment to bless the people who have been such a blessing to us.

According to the 2000 Census, more than 56,000 Alabama grandparents are 
primarily responsible for taking care of their children's children. 
Sometimes that's because of unavoidable medical or financial problems, but 
usually it's just because the parents are unable or unwilling to give their 
children the care they deserve.

Lucky for the kids they have such caring grandparents.

It would be easy for us to get on our high horse and lambaste those who 
abandon their children, often because of drug abuse, placing an undue 
burden on the grandparents.

Instead, we'd like to focus on the positive. And in many cases, even when 
they're not the primary caregivers, grandparents still have been the most 
positive influence on the lives of children.

But it's not easy. More than 2.3 million grandparents across the country 
are responsible for raising their grandchildren. While those numbers are 
spread fairly evenly among racial groups, the sad truth is 
grandparent-headed households are more likely to live in poverty.

It's tough to raise a family on a limited, fixed income, and grandparents 
shouldn't have to. They should be spending these years enjoying the fruits 
of their years of labor, not continuing to clean up after the kids. Yet, 
where would we be if so many hadn't hesitated to come to the aid of their 

So if you know a grandparent who is also serving as a parent again, go out 
of your way to give them a helping hand. A little time or money would go a 
long way toward helping them form a bond with their little ones.
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