Grandparents and Preschoolers


The past eight years I have worked at a preschool. Within those eight years, I’ve seen a high number of grandparents raising these youths today. On a caseload 54, I have a total of 26 grandparents raising these preschoolers. Even with the increase in grand-parents roles as caregiver appears to be continuing for the foreseeable future, and has implications for more research by family-science professionals, practitioners, and policy makers. Many studies have shown that many professionals have credited many of the social issues as the cause of this generation to become the main caregivers of these kids.   Many studies show things such as traumatic death of a parent to parent’s drug use have contributed to grandparents raising of many of these small kids. Even though many professionals feel that grand-parenting can come with advantages as well as disadvantages. These advantages/disadvantages have also been noted with helping the bonding of the generation gaps.

When looking at the many advantages that many of my families have in front of them, it’s one that I see and that’s the child keeping the grandparent young at heart.

I see that looking after a young child keeps grandparents energetic and vibrant even though their health may not be suitable for a continuous activity. This development alone helps create a security feeling that many grandchildren look after them when they become too dependent on others due to old age. When it comes to the advantage many of the kids, I see kids benefiting from the knowledge and upbringing of the experienced grandparents.  Over the last couple years, I’ve seen that grandparents spend a great deal of time playing and reading with the kids, this behavior alone has been said to promote healthy development for the preschooler.

While I have seen growth in many of my families, I also can see the down-side of this upbringing. Over the years I’ve seen many grandparents display their own medical and financial problems. One of the main issue; memory loss. Many of them have memory loss as well as physical disabilities, which makes it difficult to look after children. The poor financial status of the grandparents may affect the child’s health and education. Not to mention that caring for such younger kids can bring a great deal of stress onto the grandparents. But many grandparents are caring for these preschoolers in hope for a better generation.

Tamika Lockett

What Are Little Girls REALLY Made Of?

Every time I see a little girl, I find myself commenting on their cuteness and sweetness. “Oh, you have a pretty little dress on!”, “You are so cute!” “Look at those shoes!” “Those pigtails are adorable!!” Are these comments only solidifying the image-obsessed world we live in? Do we only notice our little girls for how cute they are and not for who they are or who and what they may become?  After all, our little girls are more than sugar and spice, so much more than how they look or what they are wearing. With so many little ones growing into women who base their self-worth and happiness on how beautiful they are, it seems we must start out young teaching our little girls (and little boys!) that a lady is so much more than the cute hair bows they wear and their baby doll faces.

  1. If you must compliment….

Compliment on their energy and good deeds too. Tell them how smart, strong or brave they are or how well they listen. Let them know you notice them sharing and helping their friends. If you must compliment on their cute clothes (because after all little kids clothes are adorable!), find a way to point out the color of their shirt or the image on the outfit. See if they can name the colors or  images on the shirt and compliment on how much they know.

  1. Be careful of your words!

Children soak up everything we say. We have to be mindful how we talk about our own self-image. Are we labeling ourselves “bad” for eating a piece of cake? And only “good” when we eat green leaves? Words are powerful!  Words can empower or shame. Be careful how you use your words.