Charlie Sheen’s Impact on His Kids and Their Grandparents

Our hearts go out to the people in Japan, struggling with tsunami warnings and the aftershocks of a devastating earthquake. This humanitarian crisis is compounded by the race to contain meltdowns in their nuclear plants. It certainly puts Charlie Sheen’s meltdown in perspective.

In the past, any media frenzy involving Charlie Sheen has been over the top. This time, his derailed thinking, and grandiose attitude – no matter whether it seems like he’s in the middle of a self destructive hypomanic episode or a drug induced psychosis – are indeed cause for alarm.

The voyeuristic public loves a show and cuts some slack when it comes to celebrities and controversy. But don’t you think we should draw the line when the best interests of children are at stake? And if parents 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 responsibility for their grandchildren. Reports indicate that more than 3 million grandparents are raising twice as many grandchildren. This is particularly true in homes where the circumstances involve habitual substance abuse, chronic illness or a single parent. If you happen to be caught in the middle of a complex and painful crisis, here are ideas to help you take better care of your grandchildren, your children and yourself:

Grieve what you have lost. Perhaps it’s the dreams you had for the future and your family, your children as you once knew them or the freedom to work less or retire at this time in your life.

Accept the changes in your family whatever they are. While it’s important to show support, try not to excuse bad behavior. Validate the feelings of your adult children yet make them accountable and hold them responsible. Remember that your primary concern here is to attend to the immediate needs of your grandkids.

Log on Wednesday for more practical tips about how grandparents can step in and begin to care for their grandchildren when their own kids lose their way.

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