Books to help grandparents raising grandchildren

grandpa fishing with grandsonWith millions of grandchildren being raised by their grandparents, I honestly thought there would be a lot more books available on this topic. I was wrong. There were very few that I could find and most of them were written several years ago. There were four books, however, that I reviewed that I think were appropriate to my search and so I thought I would share them with you.

Actually, there are a lot of books out there about how to raise children and, since those of us who are in the position of raising our grandchildren, those books may be considered, as well. The goal of this article though, is to look at books specifically written for those of us who are grandparents.

To Grandma’s House, We . . . Stay: When You Have to Stop Spoiling Your Grandchildren and Start Raising Them

To Grandma's House , We...StayThis book was the first one I found and has several updates. It was written in 2006 by Sally Houtman, MS.

The book is described by Goodreads as a “Timely road map that guides grandparents through these uncharted territories…” It offers real solutions to the real problems that grandparents who are raising their grandchildren face on a daily basis.

“It blends compassionate wisdom and good, old-fashioned nuts and bolts advice to lead them through the obstacle course of emotions, conflicts and social considerations that lie ahead.”

What I think is the plus of this book is that it contains eight appendices of resources which is always something we are looking for.

This book earned a 4.75 rating out of 5 on Goodreads.

This is an out of print book and is available through private sellers on Amazon.

Raising Our Children’s Children: Room in the Heart

Raising Our Children's ChildrenThis heartfelt book was written by Deborah Doucette and is based on her own experiences of raising her grandchild.

Because it is written from personal experience, the book may be better than others on the subject simply because it is written from actual real-life experience.

This book looks at the “myriad factors involved in kinship care, specifically when grandparents begin to raise their grandchildren.”

The book includes not only Doucette’s experiences, but also other stories from people who have been tasked with raising their grandchildren. It also includes advice from Dr. Jeffrey LaCure.

The book has been updated and is in its second edition. It includes “recent social developments, such as the trend toward multi-generational family living where children, their parents and their grandparents all live under one roof.”

The book received a Goodreads rating of 4.24 out of 5 from 21 ratings.

Grandparents as Parents, Second Edition, A Survival Guide for Raising a Second Family

Grandparents as Parents bookThis book by Sylvie de Toledo and Deborah Edler Brown is written for the millions of us who are raising our grandchildren today.

“You need information, support and practical guidance you can count on to keep your family strong…. Learn effective strategies to help you cope with the stresses of parenting the second time around, care for vulnerable grandkids and set boundaries with their often-troubled parents, and navigate the maze of government aid, court proceedings and special education.” From the Amazon review…

The book has been updated to reflect current laws and policies affecting families.

This book has received a Goodreads rating of 4.08 out of 5 with 24 ratings.

As a side note, I read a recent AARP article titled New Help for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren posted on their website on July 10, 2018. This article includes information about the recent changes in legislation that make it a bit easier for us grandparents raising our grandchildren. The legislation, the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act, will help us out especially those who are affected by the rising opioid crisis.

The Grandfamily Guidebook: Wisdom and Support for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

The Grandfamily GuidebookThis book is also a pretty amazing find. It is by Andrew Adesman, M.D. and Christine Adamec and is the most recently written book with a publication date of August 28, 2018. With that in mind, the information contained is the freshest, but also contains the wisdom of the past as grandparents raising their grandchildren is not exactly a new occurrence.

The following is the publisher’s description of the book:

“Are you one of nearly 3 million grandparents across North America raising your grandchildren? You may have done all this parenting stuff before, but times have changed since you raised your own kids, and you likely never thought you’d be raising kids again.

“What has led to all these family issues and the growing need for grandparents to step up? Now more than ever, substance use and addiction have made many birth parents simply unfit for the job, whether the problem is alcohol, opioids, or other drugs. Family dynamics might also be undermined by parents’ mental health or medical problems, incarceration, or a simple lack of preparedness for family responsibilities. Whatever the reason for your new role, you must now help your grandchildren adjust to their extended family as part of their everyday life, through the best care you are able to provide. While your new role means that you will likely have to change the way you live, the kinship care you provide your grandchildren might make all the difference in the world.

“In The Grandfamily Guidebook—which leading medical experts have called a “must-have” resource for grandparents raising grandchildren—authors Andrew Adesman, MD, and Christine Adamec offer expert medical advice, helpful insights gleaned from other grandparents, and data mined from the 2016 Adesman Grandfamily Study—the broadest and most diverse research study of its kind to date. You’ll also find hands-on tips you’ll be able to reference whenever you need them, including how to cope with difficult birth parents, school issues and social-life challenges, problem behaviors that stem from a difficult past, and your own self-care.

Starting with its foreword by the renowned Dr. William Sears, across this book you will find practical, inspiring help as you navigate the financial impacts, legal considerations, and medical issues that commonly arise when grandparents and grandchildren start becoming a grandfamily.”

This book incorporates a lot of facets of this trying and difficult transition not only for us grandparents, but also for our grandchildren and our children.

Our recommendation

As grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, we are always in search of resources that will help us along our journey in raising good grandchildren. These books are just a very few resources. We are seriously considering writing our own e-book on this subject which will include our experiences—our ups and downs—along with the resources we find.

Please note that there are likely other books on this subject out there, but the list is limited. We found that these four met the criteria of what we were looking for in our review which included: grandparents raising grandchildren, resources, medical, legal and other items.

Thank you for visiting my site. I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please leave questions or comments below and I will get back to you very soon!

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G.G. and JazAbout the author

Karin Nauber, “G.G.” is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 27 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. G.G. has five grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. She began this website with the hope of helping other grandparents who may be struggling with their role as parent/grandparents. If you would like to contact her, please do so at: gg@grandparentssecondstory.com.



  1. I love these books and my mother-in-law will surely love to have one! It has been a while since she had young grandbabies and she will need a refresher like this. Thanks!

    • Kris,

      You are welcome and I hope your mother-in-law will benefit from the reading. Thank you for your comment!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  2. Wow! Amazing how many of us grandparents are raising our grandkids. I won’t claim that, except to say we have had a lot of input as both of our daughters have been divorced for about a year each and we had to step in for absentee fathers. It is a tough road, but all worth it. Thank you for these suggested readings.

    • Skip,

      I love that you have taken an active role in the lives of your grandchildren. Our kids need us in our lives! There is no doubt in my mind about that! Thanks for your comment!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  3. Thank you for the article and book recommendations. I have a friend at work that will appreciate these books. I have a lot of respect for the Grandparents who step up and take that role. To me it seems its got to be really tough in swapping hats and going from loving, doting and spoiling the grandchildren to raising them.
    I think you should start with your own book.

    • Donald, Thank you for your comment. It isn’t easy raising a grandchild, but it is well worth the time and effort to make sure this little girl grows up with the best care possible. I don’t have to worry that she is with strangers or not being cared for because I know she is.

      I think I will start writing my book very soon!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  4. Great article Karin. I wasn’t aware of the growing number of children being raised by grandparents, but with addiction issues tearing apart so many families it is an unintended consequence.
    I’m glad you have gone to the trouble of searching out these (too few but) exceptional reference books to guide grandparents on their new path.
    Very well done!

    • Thank you, Kyle Ann. It is a growing problem that my spouse and I are keenly aware of. Addictions of all kinds are tearing apart our nation. I am just glad that we are able to do our part to give our granddaughter a chance at a great life!
      I am seriously considering writing my own book on this subject!
      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  5. Fantastic article. I was searching the web for books like this and came across your article. I wanted to get some ideas for my friends who are raising their grandchildren and could really use this information. I know it gets tough for them and I’m sure these books could help.
    Thank you so much for this great information,

  6. Hello Karin,
    I love your site! This is great information! There are a lot of grandparents raising their grandchildren and you are providing great resources for them here on your site. I raised my 1st granddaughter for the 1st 3 years of her life because my daughter had her at a very young age.
    It is difficult to go back to parenting after being away from it for so long. These books could be very helpful it this situation. Thanks for sharing.
    Best wishes,

    • Thank you, Devara, for sharing your experience! It is difficult, but it is definitely worth the difficulties! I know she is being well care for and loved. What were some of the difficulties you encountered, if you don’t mind sharing?

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  7. I was basically raised by my grandmother and she meant the world to me.
    In my mind I did know that she was my granny and my mother was my mother, yet she was the one I asked for permissions, advice or even pocket money.
    Unlike others, I was looking “grandparents as parents” books for myself, because I want to know both sides of the story and find out what it is like from a granny’s perspective.
    I need this to understand myself a bit more and pay my respects to my late granny.
    I am very glad I ran into your website Karin, You offer an excellent insight into a grandfamily life.

    • Andrew,
      Thank you so much for sharing. I am so glad that you had a positive experience with your granny raising you.
      My granddaughter knows we are her grandparents, but she calls us her “parents” and we are fine with that. She knows that her mom is “Mommy” and always will be, but we are her “mom-mom and GG” and always will be! Being a grandfamily has been a total blessing in our lives!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  8. Hey Karin. If this is indeed a category that there is not a lot of books on, maybe you should publish one? I’m sure you have great advice on this topic. This is something I am definitely seeing more and more. I work in a preschool and we see more and more grandparents every year registering their grandchildren. These books would be great resources to have around for them. Thank you for sharing them with us. What are some of the unique experiences you have had raising your grandchild?

    • Evette,

      Thank you for your comments. I have found so few books that are really relevant. Many are also out of print or no longer available except through a library (I have nothing against libraries). I am very seriously considering writing an e-book to make available on the website.

      We have had so many unique experiences raising this awesome little girl and so many fun adventures, I don’t even know where to begin! That was partly why I started the website and have some of the posts titled “A Day with My Granddaughter” so that I can tell some of those funny or scary or interesting stories!

      Thank you again for reading! 🙂


  9. Dear Karin,

    Thanks for the valuable post on Books to help grandparents raising grandchildren. We learn everything on planet earth and learning is very important.

    Raising grandchildren is an art! It’s one of the great and enjoyable moments in our life. Also, it plays a vital role and creates an impact on our grandchildren life.

    Thanks a lot for the four recommendations. I got new insights on reading your post. Thanks again!

    Your Friend,

    • Thank you for reading and for your comments! I have decided to write my own with my own experiences, as well. I think the more information there is, the better we grandparents will do.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  10. These books look like they hold a wealth of knowledge and encouragement for grandparents in that position. Great job doing the research and compiling the results. I hope the books were a blessing to you! I can’t imagine it’s easy to have to parent all over again from the beginning several years later…probably not exactly what most grandparents wish for, but I bet it’s also a very special experience.

    • Thank you for your comments, Holly. Raising our granddaughter is an amazingly special experience. I can’t say I would ever wish for this to happen, but it has turned out to be an awesome blessing for my spouse, my granddaughter and me!

      Best Wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  11. Hi Karen,

    I highly respect grandparents who are willing to raise a second family.  I wonder why some grandparents have to do that? 

    There are many reasons for it, and some are not very good reasons.  However, I think this is a topic that is not spoken about very often, because grandparents see it as their duty to help grandchildren who need a home.  And since it is commonsense, per say, not much can be found.

    It would be awesome if you could bring out your own book out where you share your experiences.  

    I wish you all the best as you raise your beautiful granddaughter to become an independent, strong, and helpful women to society.


    • Thank you, Oscar. There are more and more of us on a daily basis. Research has been showing that a lot of these situations are happening because of drugs and not just the illicit ones, either. Opioid abuse has skyrocketed this problem. We are so thankful that we were able to gain legal custody of our granddaughter when she was around 6 months old. She still wakes up screaming and crying after a talk with her mother, although that has lessened a bit as she has gotten older.

      I fully intend to write my own book on this subject and with hope, they will make another grandparent’s life easier!

      Best Wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  12. These are great resources, I’ll have to show them to my parents and my in-laws! Based on titles and your reviews, my favourite would be the first on the list: To Grandma’s house we stay, when you have to stop spoiling your grandchildren and start raising them.

    In my own family at least, grandparents spoiling the kids have proved to be an issue, in some ways interfering with how we as parents hope to bring up the kids. So I’ll be checking out this book, to see whether it is able to send the message across to the grandparents!

    • Thank you for your comments, Joo. It is becoming such a difficult road to travel—that of the dual role of parent and grandparent. But I am glad you read about that book and I hope that it will give you the information that you need. If I can offer any other tips, please let me know. Thank you!

      Best Wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  13. The Grandfamily guidebook is definitely a choice I would have made, were I a grandparent.

    By the way congratulations on this post. The language was simple and straight to the point. I found it very easy to read and understand because the flow of language was very smooth.

    It’s unfortunate that grandparents assume the roles of parents at a later age. I hope that the contents of the freshest book, Grandfamily, also caters for the grandparents’ well being as well. Or does it talk only about the raising of grandchildren?I enjoyed reading this article overall. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for your comments and questions. The Grandfamily Guidebook is very good. It just came out, so it has the newest content and is certainly more up-to-date than the others in the list.

      I am glad you found the post easy to read and understand! I try to write like I talk, which isn’t always a good thing, but for the most part, it makes it flow better, as you said.

      This certainly wouldn’t have been my first choice—to be raising a grandchild—but honestly, this has been one of the best things to happen to my spouse and I in a long time!

      Best Wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  14. I’m not a grandparent but I love reading books. This website has lots and lots of story book suggestion. I love how the prices in amazon are not so expensive. The story books which is stated in this website looks really good. I’m going to buy a couple of them. Thank you for the article.

    • Sujandar,

      I am glad you visited this page on my site, as well. This page is more about the nitty gritty of the task of raising a grandchild. I hope you enjoy the books!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  15. Very handy – I would encourage you to write your own book since you have done so much research, you know the shortcomings of the other books and you have real life experience. I think your perspective may help other grandparents too. I expect that some grandparents might find themselves in this situation quite unexpectedly and the resources and guidance you can give them would be most beneficial to the grandparents and ultimately, the grandchildren.

    • Thank you for your comments, Jenny. I think the more resources there are out there, the better off grandparents can be if they find themselves in our position. And you made a good point, these benefits will be for the grandchildren, too!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  16. Its amazing how many people are actually out there raising their grandkids.  It has been described as an epidemic.  There absolutely isnt enough resources or support.  I dont think people really have a clue how many grand parents are raising their grandkids.  These all look like great books but there has to  be more.  I have even thought of writing a book about the subject.

    • Thanks for visiting, Dale. Yes, I am amazed at the growing numbers. What is behind all of this? Some have said that the growing opioid crisis is to blame. I’m not sure. All I know is that I wouldn’t change things at this point!

      Please do write the book. There are not enough good ones out there.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  17. Hi Karin,

    Thank you for this wonderful article.

    I know some people who are raising their grand kids too and will let them know about your website when I meet them next time.

    I also noticed that you are considering writing an e-book on the subject of grandparents raising their grand kids. I think it would be a great book.

    I wish you all the best 🙂


    • Thank you for visiting, Vik. I think the e-book could be a great asset to help grandparents who find themselves raising their grandkids. Please feel free to share my site! 🙂

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  18. Such a relevant site! There are countless, endless grandparents raising their grand-kids in this world today. The books and audio-books are tremendous resources to create a library of literature to assist grandparents with raising their grandchildren. All they would have to do is go to their personal library, look up the issue and have some doable options right at their finger tips! Some grandparents feel raising their grandchildren gives them a second chance to get right, so the books and audio-books would definitely serve a greater purpose. Kudos to you!

    Very informative and useful information!


    • Thanks for visiting, Diane. There are a lot of us out here. Some of us haven’t had kids in the home for years so things have changed. The basics stay the same though—kids need love, a safe home and lots of hugs!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  19. It is true, there are times where the grandparents must raise their grandchildren and for that reason, I’m glad you found some books on it. To be honest, when I read the title of your blog post I didn’t think that such books were needed because of the grandparents’ experience raising their own children but as I read on, I realized that grandparents do need to make the shift from being just grandparents for a visit to grandparents raising them. In my experience my mom definitely spoils my children so I see how she would have to shift gears if she were to ever raise them. I did like that the book, “Raising my Children’s Children” was written by someone who actually had that experience, it makes it a lot more personable so the reader can actually relate to what’s been read. 

    • Thanks for visiting my site, Victor. I am glad my post made you realize some of the differences that we have to go through being both parents and grandparents to our granddaughter. It really is a complicated matter, but we try our best to help our granddaughter understand the uniqueness of the situation while at the same time, making her know that she is loved and cared for by two people who would do anything for her, just like parents. We are planning to write our own book soon.

      Have a great day! Check back often!

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

  20. Thank you for your information on this topic.

    I am a grandparent myself but really never thought of it too much of raising my grandchildren all by myself and luckily they have their parents but, your article made me think about it.

    However, I have a friend who just got full custody of her two granddaughters since her son, who was a single parent, suddenly died from a heart attack 2 years prior.

    I stood by her side when she had to battle with the authorities. I am sure if she had knew that their are books which could probably had helped her to make her case, she would have got the kids earlier.

    Nevertheless, I will check out your book recommendation and since the Holidays are upon us I will gift her one of these books.

    I am glad I have found your website!


    • Thanks for visiting, Sylvia. I am glad you found the site and found it to be useful for your friend. We don’t often think about this happening, but there are more and more of us every year who are taking up the role as parents to our grandchildren.

      If I can offer any assistance to your friend, please feel free to contact me again.

      Check back soon as the site will continue to grow.

      Best wishes,
      Karin 🙂

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