Grandparenting

Grandparenting can build a wonderful and fulfilling relationship between yourself and a younger person in your life. You can take on the role of mentor, teacher, playmate, and carer, and also help strengthen the relationships within your family. Many websites have been dedicated to helping people become good grandparents, and you can find information on GRANDtimes and Grandparents NZ.

Grandparents raising grandchildren

In some cases, grandparents become active caregivers for grandchildren when their parents are unable to do so. If you are just beginning to become the primary carer for your grandchildren, this article on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren may be helpful. Other links throughout Grandparents Raising Grandchildren are devoted to addressing issues grandparents may have when raising their grandchildren alone, and local support can be found on the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren website. You can also find information and links for support on the SuperSeniors website

Financial assistance

If you are caring for a child other than your own, you may be eligible for a benefit from Work and Income such as an Unsupported Child’s Benefit or an Orphan’s Benefit. You may also be eligible for a Working for Families Tax Credit from Inland Revenue. Other funds you may be able to get include a clothing allowance, an establishment grant that can help you set up your home when a child first comes into your care, assistance with school and school-related costs, and an extraordinary care grant to assist with children experiencing difficulties or to boost high achievers. You can check your eligibility and what you can receive on the Work and Income website.  

Step-grandparenting

It is becoming increasingly common to see blended families with younger children, and as a grandparent you may find that you have children in your life who are not related to you by blood. This can be difficult to navigate and can come with many questions on how to support a relationship with this child. Some common step-grandparenting challenges are addressed in these articles: GRANDtimes, Gransnet, and Over Sixty.

GrandFriends

If you do not have any grandchildren but would like to make connections with young people and families, you may consider joining GrandFriends. This local charity matches older people with young families who may not have close grandparents to form new relationships. Candidates are police vetted and matched by a regional matchmaker to find a good fit. Once matched, you can meet regularly with the young family to form a relationship with the children and their parents. You can find more information and join the programme here.

Grandparents website

Grandparents NZ is a local website that posts media content targeted at New Zealanders over the age of 50. It includes articles ranging from grandparenting, travelling, and entertainment to sports, health, and money. It also features competitions and daily quizzes and puzzles. You can visit the website here.

Websites of interest 

Find your nearest Age Concern