Many Oklahoma Grandparents Step In To Raise Grandchildren

Sunday, September 9th 2012, 5:51 pm
By: News 9

Deanne Stein, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Many grandparents celebrated Grandparent's Day Sunday with their grandchildren.

For many Oklahoma grandparents, though, the day was just like any other day. Oklahoma ranks in the top five states in the nation for the number of grandparents raising grandchildren.

Linda Thele of Oklahoma City is one of them.

"You have to learn all over again," she said. "It's a very new experience to be doing it again."

Thele has two grown sons of her own. An unfortunate event forced one of her sons to move in with her.

"I took them in even though I did not know it was for the long haul," Thele said.

Now, several years later, she continues to raise her six grandchildren, ages 10 to 3.

"Every minute is basically for them," she said. "They are going all of the hours that they're up. They just don't rest, so it takes a lot of energy."

And, she said it takes a lot of discipline.

"I tell them 'pick up your room, put up your clothes, put your clothes in the hamper,'" she said. "It's not a grandmother role sometimes.

However, it's a role she has come to embrace, with no regrets.

"The rewards are worth it," she said with a smile. "The rewards, the love and the hugs and the kisses make up for any hardship even the stress."

Currently, there are 2.5 million grandparents across the United States raising grandchildren.

Find resources to help through Sunbeam Family Services!