Children raised by their grandparents may experience a variety of emotions. Grandparents can help their grandchildren through these changes by showing their unconditional love and support. This support will provide stability that children need to feel safe and secure. Some children, prior to coming into their grandparent’s care, have been exposed to prolonged stress. This stress can impact learning, behavior, or development. The signs of prolonged stress can emerge physically or emotionally. Also note there may be various behaviors your grandchild has that can be misinterpreted as misbehaving or as challenging authority, but are actually expressing their reaction to this stress. Children’s behaviors are feelings in need of understanding.

In some cases, it could be beneficial to seek professional counseling support to define these difficult experiences, understand any physical or psychological reactions a child may exhibit, and to manage behaviors. Refer to the resources page for information on local counseling services. Typically, counseling is covered under an insurance plan, including K- CHIP, as well as with a medical card. If you do not have either, most agencies have a sliding scale fee policy to cover services.


Also some children who have experienced trauma/prolonged stress may challenge authority in an attempt to prove that grandparents will treat them or react like previous adults. It takes time and consistent responses for children to trust adults who are offering them a safer relationship than what they previously experienced.