Sometimes being a grandparent means that you may have to face some facts that we would prefer not to deal with. Child neglect is increasingly recognized as a major problem for more and more children. Neglect is a form of child abuse and warning signs are often overlooked, but don’t let these signs go unchecked. Children with parents who use illegal drugs or abuse alcohol are often abused and are afraid to tell anyone. Being abused and neglected can leave physical and mental scars that can carry throughout a child’s life. Child neglect is not limited to any particular social or economic class. If you see any of these warning signs listed below, take the critical step and ask your grandchildren if they are being neglected or abused.
- Did you find a change in cleaning?
- A change in eating habits?
- Do they talk about staying home alone?
- Are they missing out on a lot of school and normal activities?
- Have your sleeping habits changed?
- Are they wearing clothing that is not appropriate for the weather?
Have you noticed that your grandchild doesn’t look clean or that his hair doesn’t look like it has been properly combed and cared for?
Have your eating habits changed? Are they hungry every time they come to your house, looking for food and hunger? Have they lost weight?
Have your grandchildren told you that they are home alone or have you called and their parents never answer the phone or are not available to speak with you?
Have you been getting calls that they are not in school or missing appointments that you know they normally wouldn’t?
Are you noticing that your grandchildren are afraid to sleep alone or wake up during the night?
Does your grandchild go without a coat in cold weather or wear dirty clothes? Do they wear clothes that are too big or too small?
These are some of the most prevalent signs of neglect or abuse, but certainly not all. The most important thing to remember is to take note of changes in habits and to ask questions when you see these changes. Changes may not always mean neglect, but it never hurts to wonder why. Why have things changed and is there a logical reason for these changes? Grandparents and grandchildren usually know each other quite well and when things change they show. If you see warning signs of neglect, don’t let them go without helping your grandchildren. If you are part of the growing number of grandparents raising grandchildren, enjoy a free gift for visiting the New Grandparents’ Rights site.