Grandparents burden

by Peter Twitchell

Baby Boomers, of which I am one, born in 1950, were expected to go to school. It was what was expected of us. We finished our school K-through-12, so we went to school. Some chose to go to Kansas City, Chilocco, Chemawa, Mount Edgecumbe, St. Mary’s, U of Alaska Fairbanks, Sheldon Jackson Jr. College. Those who weren’t needed at home went on to higher learning.

Joe Andrew Sr. once told me his story of going to school. He was 12 years old, going to school with preschoolers, sitting there in the classroom playing jacks, things that preschoolers did.

In Spring Time parents needed him at Spring Camp so he was pulled out of school and moved to Spring Camp, coming back toward the end of summer to be a preschooler again.

He laughed about being a teenager being with preschool-age children and being the oldest one in the classroom.

I saw times changing in the late 1970s and 80s when young men got a girl pregnant and often the young lady was left with 5-6 children to raise her young without their father, referred to as single mothers.

Later they talked of their struggles to raise children on their own.

Today yet another trend change, young men are getting their girlfriends pregnant but the burden of raising children falls on grandparents who have raised their own children and are now burdened with without child support.

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