How do I protect my granddaughter without enabling her mother?

My 25 year old daughter has difficulty with responsibility, and continues
to make poor decisions. In the midst of this irresponsibility is my 2 1/2 year old grand-daughter.

My daughter seemed to stop developing mature decision making skills following the sudden death of a close friend when she was 13. Her emotional and psychological development seemed to hit a wall when she was 16. Her level of responsibility seems to be stuck in "teenage" mode where she is rebellious, is very self focused, and makes poor decisions.

Due to several upheavals, she and her 2 1/2 year old daughter now live with my husband and I,
but she continues to make poor decisions - eg. she is a very social person and has a "need" to
hang-out with friends, etc. even though her daughter needs to spend quality time with her, even if it's just knowing that mommy is home.

Whenever I point out that she needs to think about
her daughter's emotional needs more, she becomes defensive and finds any way to justify why
she needs to visit friends, etc. If I put up arguments as to why she should stay home, or that
I am busy or won't babysit, she says she'll drop her daughter off at her dad's or his parents -
even if that could entail driving in poor weather etc. to do that, or late at night, neither
of which is in her daughter's best interest - just so that she can do her thing. She figures that she's taken care of her daughter's needs and so that makes everything OK.

So my dilemma is how do I not enable her to continue poor decision making while at the same
time making sure that my grand-daughter isn't being bounced around like a piece of property
at the convenience of her mother so that she can do her own thing?

Thanks for any advice on this. I understand that there are many intricacies not described
here in this short summary, but the same problem continues throughout all of them.

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Apr 30, 2013
Nanny
by: Anonymous

There is a lot of us in this boat. Something I said i would never do and here I am doing it. All of us worry about the little ones who can't speak up for themselves so I just want to thank all the grandparents that actually care enough to go to bat for their grand children. I know it is tiring but the most important thing in life is giving and showing your love. You may as well give it freely to the little ones who want and need that love so much.
thank you all you loving grand parents,
Nanny

Apr 02, 2013
Enough is Enough
by: Mother that does not enable any more

My 20 yr old was not doing anything to enhance her life. She was disrespectful. I had enough of her behavior and I gave her 30 days notice. She immediately found a job, founded a place to stay (so I thought). She when 30 days come she is lingering trying to be friends. Knowing what she was trying to do, I put a stop to that and told her she still had to leave. She is out of my house for three weeks. I get a call at 11 PM last night saying the person she stayed with put her out. I pray for her night and day. But she is not allowed back into my home. I have faith that the Lord will ensure nothing happens to my granddaughter. Enough is Enough~

Jul 12, 2012
Raising Grandchildren
by: Anonymous

wow, I'm too a grandmother whom has raised 3 of my grandchildren and one who I sent to college and turned around and told me too to kiss butt. now my grand daughter who I don't trust because of her behavior of allow all types of guys in my house to have sex is doing me the same way, when does it stop or ends.

Dec 13, 2011
I have been through it...
by: Anonymous

I have been through your same situation. I unfortunately did follow the wrong path. I took my daughter in time and time again. I ended up raising my granddaughter. Was Mother and Father to her all of her life. She graduated from College last year and now treats me as though I was the one at fault for her not being raised by her Mother. She actually resents me. My heart is broken again. Strange how life repeats itself.

Mar 29, 2011
Our problems too
by: Andria

I feel your pain, my situation is a little different. My daughter is 20 and has her own apt that I pay half her rent because she is in college and only works part time. She has a newborn son and makes poor choices that unfortunatly will affect him, she too will not stay at home, she is always on the go staying out late with her son. Hanging with the wrong people who just use her. Her apt is a mess. She is a people pleaser. We want to protect our grandson, but not enable our daughter. We worry about his safety, well being, etc because she is not ready to be a mother. She is very selfish and only thinks of herself. We watch him when she goes to school 2 nights a week, she has already lied to me saying she went to school, but she really didnt. So far as we can tell he is happy, clean, dry etc. She is going down a road of destruction-she could get kicked out of school, missing days of work. Then she will loose her apt and then her and our grandson would be homeless. Thats where we struggle, how do we protect our grandson while not enabling our daughter.

Jan 07, 2011
Emotional Blackmail
by: Don Carter

Sometimes (most times) there are just no easy answers...only things to consider. One thing you might add to the mix here is that emotional blackmail is not something you want to enable if you really care about your grand-daughter.

If you do succumb to it then it will become a handy tool for your daughter. In that way you are helping to establish a pattern where your Grand-daughter become a pawn...in other words, bounced around whenever it is useful to help your daughter get her way.

You are not this child's parent...and that's tough to accept. She is the child AND the responsibility of your daughter. If your daughter does not take appropriate care of her responsibility, there are measures you can take (sadly only when abuse or neglect can be proven). You can hotline to the appropriate authorities.

Your grand-daughter's father is also responsible and can be held accountable. Plus there are other family members to go to if the door closes on your end. Now, I don't know your situation and I am not saying to toss her out... I AM saying that falling for emotional blackmail is NOT a good choice.

Get help from an expert as you make you next decisions about this. Counseling is available and the details of your situation need to be given time and face-to-face support.

Additionally, Alanon has people who are in, or who have been, the same position as you are...so go to there too.

Good Luck and God Bless,
Don

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