5 Indicators Mom & Dad Are Ready To Take Children Back
By Debra Susan Bowman
Who knew how life changing T-ball could be? We were raising our five year old grandson Anthony after his daddy died in an accident. Both Anthony’s parents were athletic, so we signed him up for T-ball in the Spring. He saw his mommy on occasion, but she was unable to care for him. We invited her to the games. She was thrilled to come with her boyfriend and his kids.
We had a history of broken bridges, bumpy steps and health issues, but she seemed different now. So we started out with baby steps of time with Anthony. First lunch, then the afternoon and then overnight. We watched close for almost a year. His face lights up when he talks about going to mommy’s house. It’s what every child wants, to be loved and valued by their parent.
Sometimes grandparents have to step in when the parents are unable or unwilling to be the parent. We do this for the safety and security of the child. With much evaluation and observation, you may realize it’s time for the child to move out of your house and back to the parents house. Maybe this is something you do not want to hear, I know we did not think it a possibility last year. Anthony was our world. He brought life, laughter and love into our lives. We have had him since he was eighteen months, now he was six years old. It’s been an honor to raise my son’s son. We will always have a special relationship with him and continue to impact his life at every opportunity.
There is a Master that rebuilds bridges and restores right relationships. Funny, He happens to have carpentry skills. We have peace about this new journey we are all on. We are proceeding with a lawyer just to make sure grandparent rights are maintained. Anthony’s mommy is fine with that. He says when he starts school next year at his mommy’s, he will come to our house on weekends.
You might ask why mommy did not have Anthony in the first place? She was in the accident that took our son’s life and had acute health issues that became chronic. In her mother bear determination to provide her son with a great life she made personal positive choices and lifestyle changes that provided physical and emotional stability. Health and physical areas will improve when the emotions follow a positive, productive path in all our lives. She did just that and peace and purpose followed her right to Anthony’s doorstep. She has lost much in life, the restoration of her son is an awesome part in the journey God has planned for both of them.
If you are facing a decision about whether to give your grandchildren back to the parents I can help with five indicators, like gauges on the car’s dashboard, that will help you choose a wise and healthy course for your young one.
1 – Income
- Are they financially stable?
- Have they held a job for a significant period of time?
- Are they able to provide for the care and needs of the child; food and clothes?
- Are they keeping the utilities and rent paid?
2 – Responsibility
- Are they maintaining a functioning vehicle with a driver’s license?
- Do they follow through with commitments and keep appointments?
- Are they maintaining the child’s health and dental care?
- Is the home clean and organized?
- Do they assist with homework and sport schedules?
3 – Attitude
- Are they bickering and argumentative or peaceful, forgiving and co-operative?
- Do they express themselves with kind words with good manners and encourage the same in the child?
- Are their life and comments positive, or are they negative much of the time?
- Are they showing love and attention to the child while giving hugs, words of affirmation and hanging on their every word?
- Are they addiction free? No drugs or alcohol allowed.
4 – Life choices
- Is there longevity in relationship and career choices?
- Are they crafting outstanding short term goals and dreams, hopes and plans for the child’s future?
- Do they model moral and spiritual values that will be passed on to the young one? Not saying one standard and living another.
- Do they provide timely, nutritious meals and snacks that present healthy lifestyle choices?
5 – Communication Skills
- Can they express clear and appropriate conversation to adults and their children?
- Are they willing to text or phone to keep other family members and other important providers informed?
- There is no confusion or not showing up for meetings, appointments or plans with the child.
- There is good communication with grandparents for the betterment of the child.
This may seem like a lot to ask, and you aren’t going to get it all, but these are all important indicators you can depend on for a wise transition decision. However, the end goal of building a healthy family unit is worth all the monitoring effort. Be careful to do your evaluation in love, without a condescending tone. Observe whether they are generally, consistently getting better. Give them credit for consistent improvement and being on the right track.
We had great results from our consideration of these indicators and the judge’s decision was positive. We asked for and got grandparent rights in exchange for releasing guardianship of a very special, handsome, sweet young man back to his mom.
We packed Anthony’s suitcase, and appropriately enough drove to his T-ball game. We discovered how life changing T-ball really can be. After the game there were hugs, kisses, and a few tears as he drove off with mommy.
My house seems empty, but my heart is full. I hear God saying well done good and faithful servant. We stepped into rescue and raise a special little boy when it was required and requested by my son, even from the grave. If you are faced with the decision about whether mom and dad are ready to take children back, evaluate with safety, security and love in mind, for the little one. Pray about it and it may just turn out to be a joyful and healing journey. For us it was just that, and it’s only beginning!
Help your grandchildren laugh and learn their way to a better life with Granpa Cratchet