Grandparents wellbeing and childrens development

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In many families, grandparents take on their roles as children's caregivers in times of crisis. In other families, this change occurs in a gradual or planned way. Regardless of how the change occurs, grandparents may feel overwhelmed by the new responsibilities. Stress and depression may arise if the grandparent is dealing with their own health problems, trying to handle a grandchild's physical or behavioral problems, or is not receiving enough support from outside sources or other family members.3

Unfortunately, nearly half of all grandparents raising grandchildren become depressed at some point. Sometimes the depression is temporary, other times it lasts a long time.

Depression strikes nearly half of all grandparents raising their grandchildren4

Depression strikes nearly half of all grandparents raising their grandchildren4

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Depression can cause real problems in parenting. Many parents or grandparents who are depressed do not have the energy to take care of the children's needs.They may not be available emotionally, which can affect children's development in many ways. Children who are cared for by a depressed parent experience more:

• Behavior problems

• Problems with developmental skills

• Trouble developing important relationships

• Trouble controlling their emotions

• Social problems

Your well-being is linked to your grandchild's well-being.When there is a problem with one family member, other family members are affected. It is a back-and-forth cycle.

The good news is that all people and all families have strengths. Building on your own strengths and your family's strengths is important. For many families, helping one problem may help other problems. Everyone can benefit.

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