Grandparental Involvement

Freshman discusses having grandparents as their legal guardians

Tiffany Hanson, Fall 2015 J1 Student

Due to changes and issues in families and society, grandparental involvement between grandchildren has seemed to increase. In freshman Haley Stycyzkowski’s life, this idea of her

Styczykowski finds herself going home to her grandparents, like any other day. Styczykowski who’s legal guardians are her grandparents has seen this house as home ever since her grandparents moved houses bringing along Styczykowski. “This is the house that I’ve gotten to grow up in, sure at first I might have been drug along reluctantly, but it’ll always be what i consider home,” said Styczykowski. Photo by: Tiffany Hanson
Styczykowski finds herself going home to her grandparents, like any other day. Styczykowski who’s legal guardians are her grandparents has seen this house as home ever since her grandparents moved houses bringing along Styczykowski. “This is the house that I’ve gotten to grow up in, sure at first I might have been drug along reluctantly, but it’ll always be what i consider home,” said Styczykowski. Photo by: Tiffany Hanson

grandparents being so involved — to the point of seeing them almost as another parental figure — has been a normal part of her life seen since birth.

Styczykowski said her and her sister have been living with her grandparents on and off since Styczykowski was in the first grade, but they were officially her guardians Styczykowski’s third grade year.

Carol Howitt, Styczykowski’s grandmother said, “we welcomed the girls in with open arms. It’s come to the point where we need them as much as they needed us, and I could never imagine a life without them.”

Styczykowski said she stays at her grandparent’s during the week and sometimes with her mom on the weekends with the occasional phone calls throughout the week.

“It’s kind of like my grandparents and parents have switched roles compared to most families” said Styczykowski.

Styczykowski said, with the transition between completely living with her mom to living with her grandparents, her grandparents willingly did things in order for them to feel comfortable.

“Moving into our current house meant a lot of work,” said Howitt. “Before we moved in there wasn’t even a basement, which is where we had the girl’s bedrooms built. The construction didn’t end there though we also added on a sunroom and a pool.”

Styczykowski said living with grandparents is essentially the same as living with parents in the aspect they have provided for her and her sister.

“They really keep up and are strict with my school related things but all parents are like that,” said Styczykowski.

But with having her grandparents as one of her main caretakers has definitely had an impacted on how she has grown up.

“With them being in their 60s, they just can’t relate as much, since when they were teenagers it was very different,” said Styczykowski. “So I depend on my friends a lot of the time when I need someone to talk to.”

Styczykowski said living with grandparents with her grandparents spending their money on trips to many different place, many of which she has also gone on, has allowed her to take advantage of opportunities, that a lot of kids don’t get.

“Traveling and getting the chance to see and experience all sorts of different cultures has really taught and shown me many things, such as to stay opened minded,” said Styczykowski.

Many of my friends haven’t really ever known their grandparents, said Styczykowski, and I can’t help but feel bad for them.

“Sure they may not ever understand why, but at the same time they’ll never be able to have the same opportunities as I have with my grandparents being around in my life so much.”

Styczykowski said when I first tell people that I live with my grandparents, a lot of times the usually show me some sort of pity because they assume the worst has happened to my parents.

“I personally just think of us as any other normal family and I couldn’t imagine having it any other way,” said Styczykowski.