What do you think about celebrities and the media frenzy – especially the focus on B-list bad girls who put the best interests of their children at stake. If young parents act irresponsibly and are unable to care for their children, is it up to their own parents – often hard working, card carrying members of the Sandwich Generation – to step in?

An increasing number of boomer grandparents are assuming greater care-giving and financial responsibilities for their grandchildren. Recent statistics indicate that more than 2.9 million grandparents are raising 4.5 million grandchildren. This is particularly true in homes where the circumstances involve a single parent, a habitual substance abuse problem or chronic illness.

If you feel caught in the middle of a soap opera or a complex and painful crisis, stay tuned over the next few days – we’ll be offering ideas to help you take better care of your grandchildren, your children and yourself:

It’s important for you to grieve whatever it is you have lost – perhaps it’s the freedom to retire or work less at this time of your life, the dreams you had for the future of your extended family, or your children as you once knew them.

Accept the changes in your family, whatever they are, even if you feel caught in the crossfire. Validate your child’s feelings and withhold blame. While you can show support, try not to take a particular side or excuse bad behavior. Remember that your primary concern here is to attend to the immediate needs of your grandchildren.

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