Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2020

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Page 22 of 35 n Hudson Valley Parent 23 sponsible for their grandchildren in 2006, according to the NY Courts. Although grandparents caring for their grandchildren isn't new, with changing family dynamics, like single-parenthood, long work hours and longer life expectancies, families are increasingly turning to grandparents for childcare, in- cluding people in mid-life through old-age. James gives 100 percent to her grandchildren's care, but she's also careful to take time for herself and husband. "Do everything you can for your grandchildren but make it priority to still live your life and enjoy your life," she said. "Circumstances can take over." As well, while James and her grandchildren's parents agree on is- sues involving the kids, overall, she said payment for babysitting and F or Ondie James, one of the joys of babysitting and co-parenting her grandchildren is that she's an everyday part of their lives. "They are your legacy - that's what out-weighs everything - the love you have for your grandchil- dren, being a part of their life, helping to mold them into decent human beings," said James, of Poughkeepsie. Like James, many grandparents have a hand in the care of the grandchildren, with about 4,500 of them in the Mid-Hudson Valley re- costs involved in the children's care should be addressed. "There are so many dynamics that go into it," she said. Grandparents as babysitters Time spent together fosters strong bonds and happy memories Foster family ties Studies show an association between social relationships and health. In fact, some grandpar- ents find that caring for their grandchildren provides an emo- tional bond that leads to greater activity, and healthier eating. Source: When grandparents babysit keep these points in mind: • Talk with the grandparent about the job's details, including days and times for babysitting, meals, compensation, discipline, homework and play time. • If your child needs to be driv- en from one place to another, be sure his or her grandparent is up to the task and has a car seat for your youngster. • If the babysitting is at the grandparent's house, see that it's properly safeguarded, including that all medications and poisons are out of reach, stairways are secured, and sharp corners are safeguarded. • Talk often with the grandpar- ent and your children about how things are going. Make changes, accordingly. • Remember, having a grand- parent as a babysitter is a won- derful way to foster family ties and lasting memories. It also helps keep grandparents active and social, while giving children the opportunity to appreciate older adults. Family resources Connect with Cornell Cooper- ative Extension for its Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP), a free community-based offer- ing for families. The program provides peer support groups, resources for non-parent caregiv- ers raising children and more. Cornell Cooperative Exten- sion, Orange County Website: family/parenting-and-fami- ly-life/relatives-as-parents-pro- gramrapp Email: Cornell Cooperative Exten- sion, Dutchess County Website: ly/relatives-as-parents-program Email: Cornell Cooperative Exten- sion, Ulster County Website: Phone: 845-340-3990 Email:

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