Over 2.4 million grandparents in America are currently raising their grandchildren as the sole guardians. That isn’t factoring in grandparents who share the duties with one or more of the children’s parents. As for the children themselves, it has been estimated that there are over 13 million children in American whose grandparents have sole custody.
It is admirable that these grandparents—who could have assumed that their child-rearing days were over now—stepped up for their grandchildren. But the numbers keep rising, with a 7% increase from 2009-2016 of children living with grandparents full time. However, these grandparents often struggle monetarily to provide for these grandchildren. Almost 500,000 of these grandparent-grandchild households are living below the poverty level, according to the 2017 US Census.
Also, the placement of children with grandparents is often due to traumatic events linked to their parents. With these facts in mind, it is not unusual for children to grow into out-of-control teens with their grandparents struggling to care for them.
Buried Trauma Can Trigger Troubled Teen Behavior
Even for teens who were too young to remember living with their parents, there is still trauma attached to leaving their parental home to live with their grandparents. Part of the problem comes in as teens search for a sense of self—yet feel like part of their identity is missing with their parents.
For those teens who were taken from unfit parents, the traumatic link can be more clear, especially if abuse was part of the problem. Teens who are sent away to live with grandparents can feel rejected by their parents at a critical time in life where acceptance is essential.
With so many potential points for trauma, it is no wonder that teenagers who live with their grandparents often struggle more than their peers who live with one or both parents. How custodial grandparents respond to their grandchild’s troubling behavior is critical to their grandchild’s future.
Choose Therapeutic Boarding Schools Over Military School
Parents and grandparents often think of military school first to “straighten up” a misbehaving teenager. However, when the crux of the issue is rooted in trauma, having a drill sergeant bark orders and have struggling teens do pushups isn’t enough. Instead, receiving therapy in a supportive, structured, and disciplined therapeutic boarding school is far more beneficial.
If you believe that your grandchild is in need of more help than you can provide him on your own, Sundance Canyon Academy is here for you. Our therapeutic treatment program can help your teen work through their struggles in a healthy manner while they learn valuable life skills and lessons.
To learn more about our program and to see if your teenage grandson is a good fit, please feel free to contact us today to talk with a program advisor.