Parenting the second time around
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PARENTING The Second Time Around. A Cornell Cooperative Extension Workshop Series For Grandparents, Relatives and Others Who are Parenting AGAIN! by Jennifer Birckmayer Isabelle Doran Jensen Denyse A.Variano With Gerard Wallace For more information: Denyse Variano

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Parenting the second time around

PARENTINGThe Second Time Around

A Cornell Cooperative Extension Workshop Series For Grandparents, Relatives and OthersWho are Parenting AGAIN!

by

Jennifer Birckmayer

Isabelle Doran Jensen

Denyse A.Variano

With Gerard Wallace

For more information:

Denyse Variano

Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County

(845) 344-1234

[email protected]


Parenting the second time around pasta

Parenting the Second Time Around (PASTA)

  • PASTA was designed specifically to meet the needs of grandparents, relatives and other non-parental caregivers who are parenting related (and non-related) children.

  • The 16-hour curriculum is presented in 8

    workshops planned for a 2-hour block of time.

  • Topics include child and adolescent development, discipline and guidance, acknowledgement of ambivalent feelings, rebuilding a family, living with teens, legal issues and advocacy.


Parenting the second time around1

Parenting the Second Time Around

What makes this training module different from other parenting curricula?

PASTA was developed specifically for kinship caregivers.

It incorporates humor, lightness and joy into a very difficult situation.

It relies on an active learning process.


Parenting the second time around2

Parenting the Second Time Around


Parenting the second time around3

Parenting the Second Time Around

Who are relative caregivers?

  • A relative caregiver is a grandparent or other adult relative over the age of 18 who has taken on the role of primary caregiver for a related child 18 years of age or younger.

  • How many people here today know a relative caregiver?


Relative caregivers in the u s murray macomber and geen 2004

Relative Caregivers in the U.S.(Murray, Macomber and Geen, 2004)


Caregiver characteristics hudson valley ny

Caregiver CharacteristicsHudson Valley, NY

Average age: 55 years

84% grandparents

86% female

50% employed

24% used emergency food sources in past year

56% married

72% white

Compared to 38% nationally


Parenting the second time around

Reasons child is not living with parent

  • Drinking or drug problem—49%

  • Mental or emotional problem—42%

  • Neglect or abuse—34%

  • Parent had to go to jail—32%

  • Deceased—17%

  • Homeless—17%

  • Not enough money to raise child—15%


Parenting the second time around

Will child live with you until adulthood?

  • 78% say yes

  • 3% say no

  • 19% don’t know…


Clearly we can see

Clearly… we can see

Relative caregivers are the “unsung heroes”

of the 21st century. Without them, many of the

children whose parents are unwilling or unable

to care for them would be away from families

and in the foster care system.


Why are research and extension activities focused on relative caregivers important

Why are research and extension activities focused on relative caregivers important?

Relative caregivers playing an important role, and need special attention as a family unit.

They have their own special needs and strengths.

We can use research to gather detailed information and create targeted services.

Inform policies and programs.


Parenting the second time around4

Parenting the Second Time Around

  • Regardless of a caregiver’s age, race/ethnicity, gender, living situation and SES, all relative caregivers have one need in common – parenting education and support.

    The world has changed significantly since they last parented. HOW?

    Our knowledge of best parenting practices has changed.

    The children in their care often have special needs.

    They need support to be the best caregiver they can be!


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Parenting the Second Time Around

  • Parenting this population is very difficult, the challenges can be almost overwhelming.

  • Few adults plan to be caring for related children, some of whom may be traumatized, deeply unhappy or have chronic health conditions, while they themselves are experiencing the more difficult aspects of growing older.

  • Plans for their retirement years are replaced with play dates and PTA meetings.


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Parenting the Second Time Around

Which brings us to our first workshop session:

“It Wasn’t Suppose to be Like This”.

This workshop explores the many feelings relative caregivers experience when parenting the second time around, and allows them to acknowledge the challenges as well as the joys they face when parenting again…


Parenting the second time around7

Parenting the Second Time Around

The objectives in the first workshop set the tone for the series:

  • To create a friendly and safe environment for learning and discussion, and help caregivers know that they are not alone.

  • To identify the many (and often conflicted) feelings of caregivers in their role as parenting relatives, and learn how to express and accept these feelings.

  • To find sources of strength and help for themselves and the children in their care.


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Parenting the Second Time Around

Introductory Activity – Making a Paper Hat

  • Non-threatening and fun activity

  • Helps participants with introductions

  • Acknowledges the “many hats” caregivers wear

  • Brings up the importance of confidentiality - “We will keep everything we hear under our hats”

  • Models an activity they can do at home with children.


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Parenting the Second Time Around

  • Reading of Poem – “I Just Wanted to be a Grandma”, anonymous.

  • Feelings Handout – most people have very strong feelings when they “change hats” from being grandma or grandpa to being mommy or daddy. Has anyone heard a grandparent say, or as a relative caregiver, do you feel …


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Parenting the Second Time Around

  • Regardless if caregivers check one feeling or every feeling, all can agree that parenting relative children brings up strong emotional responses, and each response is legitimate, even those perceived as “negative”.


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Parenting the Second Time Around

  • Parenting is hard work … Grandparenting is even harder

  • Grandparenting a child who’s come out of a crisis is harder still

  • Grandparenting when you have less energy than you used to doesn’t help

  • What can you do to make your life less stressful? … Family and Community Resources


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Parenting the Second Time Around

  • Bed time stories – ie. Love is a Family by Roma Downey

  • Literacy focus – lending library for caregivers, with a special focus on books to share with their children.

  • Journaling as a tool to help caregivers have a safe place to express themselves, as well as to document milestones, important conversations and medical and legal information.


2009 a new third edition

2009 - A NEW Third Edition…

  • More than 200 caregivers and educators completed a survey consisting of 25 relevant topics to decide what to include in the revised edition of PASTA.

  • Overwhelmingly, the issues involving the challenges of raising teenagers and the legal concerns relative caregivers face were the topics requested.


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Parenting the Second Time Around

Two added workshops:

(Piloted in 2009 - NY, Washington, Florida)

Grandparents and Teens Living Together - teen development, why teens act the way they do?,

communication and limits.

Living With Teens Can be Challenging - identifying realistic risks (alcohol, drugs), keeping teens safe, media and internet use


Now a sneak preview

Now, a sneak preview…

What do you know about adolescent development???

Understanding new media - making a MySpace profile.


Working toward happiness

Working Toward Happiness

Share three happiness “notes”or gratitudes with your neighbor about KNOWING MORE ABOUT, BEING or WORKING WITH relative caregivers !


Parenting the second time around14

Parenting the Second Time Around

Future Plans…

  • Training for PASTA facilitators will be available this Fall in New York City and in January 2009 at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. If interested in becoming a workshop leader, contact Denyse Variano at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orange County at 845-344-1234 or Toni Nekvapil at Orange County Office for the Aging at 845-615-3721.

  • Training can be brought to other states and agencies for a nominal fee.

  • Washington State Aging Services is hoping to work on a Spanish version of PASTA in 2009.


Parenting the second time around15

PARENTINGThe Second Time Around

A Cornell Cooperative Extension Workshop Series For Grandparents, Relatives and OthersWho are Parenting AGAIN!

by

Jennifer Birckmayer

Isabelle Doran Jensen

Denyse A.Variano

With Gerard Wallace

For more information:

Denyse Variano

Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County

(845) 344-1234

[email protected]


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