Grace's Story                                                                            July 2010
In This Issue

Grace's Story



Dear Friend,
We received a particularly dramatic call recently from a grandparent we’ll call Grace.  Her call reminded us that grandparents raising grandchildren face the special challenge of dealing with their own child’s afflictions – drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, serious illness, imprisonment – and helping their grandchildren understand what is happening.  This is in addition to the usual demands of parenting.
Grandparents can get help from the Department of Elder Affairs which recently updated their Resource Guide for grandparents.  Grandparents also attend PHP groups and call the Parental Stress Line for support.  Read on about the call from Grace.  And then read how one of our volunteers is working to establish a parent support group in Haverhill.

Happy holidays.

Randall Block
Executive Director
Grace's Story

Grace called the Parental Stress Line in a panic.  She was parenting her two grandchildren ages 12 and 14 and they were in the middle of a furious physical fight and she could not get them to stop.  She said she was worried they would pull the cord out of the phone and they did.
Fortunately Grace called back a few minutes later.  She had succeeded in separating the children, sending one outside to play.
Grace reported she was raising the adopted children of her daughter who has a substance abuse problem.  She never anticipated raising her grandchildren and she feels very alone.  Grace was able to talk with the Stress Line counselor about feeling overwhelmed, isolated and resentful.  She became calmer and said she was so relieved to have someone she could share these feelings without feeling judged.
The telephone counselor was able to help Grace identify the strengths she has exhibited, and make a plan to get more support for herself, and help for her grandchildren. She was able to identify that they needed help coping with their mother’s drug problem and learning to express their anger without fighting. Grace, together with the volunteer, also made a safety plan for what Grace can do next time the fighting happens.
At the end of the call Grace said she felt better than she had in a long time, and that she will use the Parental Stress Line again.

Our mailing address is:
Parents Helping Parents
108 Water Street
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone: 617-926-5008