Where to go for help

If you're worried about your grandchild or are feeling overwhelmed yourself, there are many sources of support available:

• Talk to a trusted friend who is not directly involved in the situation

• Talk to your grandchild's teacher or day care provider

• Talk to your grandchild's pediatrician or family doctor

• Talk to your pastor, rabbi, priest, or spiritual counselor

• Join a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren

Contact your kinship care worker Parenting styles

Contact your county Extension office

Contact a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker in your area

Contact a child welfare agent

Call a parental stress hotline

Contact your local early intervention program

Look for respite care

Contact your local aging office

Contact your local Family Resource Center

As the main caregiver for your grandchild, you play an important role in managing your grandchild's behav-iors.You must provide the child with a safe and secure environment.You also need to respond to the child's needs and look after the child's healthy development.

One way of evaluating parenting styles looks at the amount of warmth and the amount of control, or structure, used when raising children.3 The diagram on the next page identifies each style—what the caregiver does and how children typically respond. Remember that each child is unique and will respond in his or her own way. Certainly, not all children with parents who have high amounts of control and warmth will become independent and responsive.

When a child is distressed but rejects comfort:

When a child does not appear to need comfort:

Child does not expect caregiver to respond; acts like he/she does not need caregiver

Caregiver acts like he/ she is not needed and does not provide comfort

Child's expectation that "caregivers do not respond" is strengthened

Your responses can affect your grandchild's expectations of relation-ships.The following graphics show how a negative reaction can reinforce problem behaviors.

Child is distressed, caregiver responds with comfort

Child expects caregiver to be inconsistent; rejects comfort

Caregiver feels rejected and angry; withdraws from child

Child's expectation that "caregivers are inconsistent" is strengthened

Summary of parenting styles

High warmth/high control. The caregiver is in control, but is warm and loving.This style is considered best for the healthy development of the child. Children raised with this parenting style are often thoughtful, respectful, and independent.

High warmth/low control. The care-giver has little control over the child, but is very warm and loving. Without structure and supervision, children may develop behavior problems. Children may break rules and lack structure in their lives.

Low warmth/high control. The caregiver is controlling, but not very warm or sensitive.The caregiver often expects too much from children. Parents who abuse their children often fall under this category. In response, children often become aggressive and controlling.

Low warmth/low control. The care-giver provides little or no structure or supervision for the child and little or no warmth or sensitivity. The caregiver is often neglectful or absent. Children raised this way often have difficulty showing warmth for others.

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