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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May 10, 2017
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To Scared Grandma
by: Don Carter

Hi!

Initially I was thinking that many teenagers have some angst about life at that age and it can be difficult but it is part of adolescent development for some kids.

However, as I read on I saw a red flag and then the alarms went off... If there is a child rapist in the home she is in danger!

Has the rape been substantiated or alleged and has law enforcement and/or child services been called in? If the answer to the second part of this question is no, then the first thing to do is call your state's child abuse hotline and let them know these things.

You can usually do that anonymously if you need to for some reason. Be prepared to answer as many of their questions as you can such as who, what, where, when, and how questions about the rape.

Blessings,
Don

May 10, 2017
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Granddaughter
by: Scared Grandma

My Granddaughter will be 16 in october shes a very unhappy child she tells me all the time she hates life she does recieve verble abuse not sure if she gets hit. I live 4 hours from her so I can't protect her from here. How can I help her I'm afraid she will try and commit suicide I can't talk to her mom she would be mean to my granddaughter and my granddaughters dad raped my 14 year old and hes still in the house all he does is yell at her. Please can someone tell me how to get her help???

Apr 01, 2017
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36 year old daughter and my 5 year old granddaughtet
by: Anonymous

I am at a loss & don't know what to do. My 36 y/o daughter & her 5 y/o have lived with me since her birth. Now my daughter has a new boyfriend and decided to get pregnant so she could have a child with the man she says she loves. My daughter only works a few days a week, I have provided everything since my granddaughter was born. The guy she's hooked up with has two kids from a previous marriage and just recently got released from jail and is now on two years probation. My daughter spends no time with my granddaughter and I do almost everything. When she does try to "parent" all she does is yell and threaten, this breaks my heart. Prior to hooking up with this guy she was a good mom, she was nice to her child & spent time with her. She wants me to let this boyfriend move onto my house! I can't stand the thought of her moving out and taking my granddaughter, my home is all she has ever known and we are so close. What should I do? My daughter got pregnant intentionally. I don't think it is fair to put this on me again. I am 55 & I work full time but when I get home every night I am the one playing, spending time and taking care of the child while my daughter plays on the computer or lays in bed texting her boyfriend.

Feb 16, 2017
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Lazy lying irresponsible parents
by: Anonymous

I too am a grandparent of two children, 5 and 2 years old. They are in a terrible living situation. My son and his girlfriend do not work and are so irresponsible. They live in a house with no bathroom and no kitchen. No running water in the house. They go next door for water and to bathe and use the toilet. This is so shaming to me as I did not raise my son this way at all. They have been evicted from everywhere they have lived because they will not pay their bills. I am a single mother myself raising a teenager and cannot afford to keep up two households( I did try, I just did not have enough money) The children are always dirty and stink. I bathe them and wash their clothes every opportunity I have. They don't ever have clean clothes or their hair brushed when I go pick them up. It's not even embarrassing to the parents, my own son. I cannot handle the situation anymore but do not know what to do. They receive food stamps but cannot even keep that continuous because they can't fill out their forms and mail them in on time. I could type forever about this subject. I truly cannot stand the thought of them having to leave their parents because they do love them but are too little to realize they are being terribly neglected. I have to change this situation somehow soon.

Feb 14, 2017
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Similar Situation
by: Monika

I am in a similar situation. My daughter and granddaughter lived with me for nearly three years before my daughter got an apartment for them one mile away.

In some ways this is worse because I am not there to see when my daughter screams, slaps or neglects and intervene. My granddaughter is five and asked me to talk with her mother about not hitting her when she has accidents. Yes, it broke my heart.

Yesterday my daughter, my husband, my granddaughter and I had an intense conversation in which we told my daughter that she needed to stop hitting the little one. My granddaughter spoke up to say that she dreams about running away on a horse into the forest. She asked her mother "How would you feel is someone slapped you when you just made a mistake?"

It was very hard to hear, and hard to trust that my daughter will change although she says she will. I could see it was a relief for my granddaughter to be able to speak her hurt and be heard and validated.

All I know to do is to continue what I'm doing--care for my granddaughter as much as possible and listen and believe and confront when she tells me her mother is being mean to her.



Feb 12, 2017
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More information
by: Don Carter

Hello Anonymous re: "daughter who put grand-daughter out"

In order to get helpful information please add some information about what happened.

Thanks and I hope we can answer your question. Sorry for your pain!

Don

Feb 12, 2017
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My daughter put my granddaughter out she is 17
by: Anonymous

What do I do my daughter hurting my granddaughter.

Apr 02, 2016
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Desperate grandma
by: Anonymous

Im so glad I found this forum. Im hurting for my 3 yr old grand baby since my daughter and her husband separated. I love this baby so much, she is the sweetest girl you could meet. Im trying to put some sense into my daughters brain but its being a struggle. She just wants to go out and be free. Her husband wants full custody but Im worried I wont see her again.

Jan 23, 2016
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protect
by: Anonymous

My grandaughter phoned me very upset to say she was having an argument with her mam when her mams partner walked in and started yelling at my grandaughter. 18 months ago the partner told me I have to sell my house, give up my job, give up my social life and come 300 KLM to live near them and rent a house and take my granddaughter to live with me. He said he did not want this 9yr old childs bad iinfluence on his child. He has a 2yr old child to my daughter. I was horrified and contacted social workers. Shortly afterwards I received a solicitors letter from my daughter requesting me to stay away from them or I would be brought to court. I have had little or no contact from them ever since. That's nearly 2 yrs ago. But I got this distress call from my now 11 yr old granddaughter a week ago and I am at a loss to know what to do. I love my daughter and her children dearly and don't want to make a bad situation worse. Any suggestions. Thanks
Mary

Jan 02, 2016
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Lazy Daughter
by: Kathryn

My daughter went to college. She is not capable of holding a job because she knows more than everybody else. She was married with a nice husband,a house and two girls. One girlies doing great in school,the other is now going to be roadschooled. I am very worried about her safety. I cannot stand the sight of my own child.


Aug 20, 2015
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My grand children are 7 months a little girl born on Christmas day and a 17 month old born in the same year
by: Anonymous

I have had to contact child protection services for a second time. My daughters boyfriend contacted me stating that he was going to a shelter and leaving the kids and to come pick them up. I was on my way to work and started to head out to get my grand children. As I am on my way to get them my daughter calls me and begins yelling at me and cursing that I and her boyfriend are driving her crazy. i tell her that he called me and that her boyfriend advised me he was going to a shelter and leaving them alone. My daughter begins to curse at me and states they are with someone else. She hangs up the phone. I turned back around and called my husband and we called 911 to go over to where we new the children were. The boyfriend called me and stated that he indeed had the children and if I wanted to keep seeing my grandchildren not to call child protection. This time I was fed up I told him they involved me in this situation and they were the ones that needed to work things out. Their relationship is very abusive and I have had to pick her up late nights or even get the children while I have been at work. I have taken her in several times and helped her to get the two apartments that she has been evicted from. Her concern is to please him no matter what the cost. Tonight I woke up extremely worried for my grandchildren. I am at my whits end because I am at fault for enabling her and allowing her to disrespect me. I pray each night and put them in Gods hands. I can no longer take this emotional up and down life she is leading. My next step is to get some professional help in dealing with my emotions.

Aug 05, 2014
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On Being a Grandparent...
by: Don Carter

Angie and I are grandparents too so we had some of these discussions over the years. What we decided was that our grandkids were not given to us, but to our children. They are the parents and they will have to live with their choices.

So our role is NOT that of a parent (even though grandparents are on standby in case we need to become a parent, but that changes everything between us and them. It is not supposed to be that way so there is no book on how to do it.)

Our main role as grandparents are limited, yet still powerful. We get opportunities to make a difference in their lives. We show them another way to live, by example. We are there for them in every way we can be, given our limited role.

As a therapist I have talked with many people who grew up in bad, abusive, and neglectful situations. Invariably, the ones who seem to be doing remarkably well point to ONE person from their past who gave them an anchor to hold onto - it is almost always a teacher or a grandparent.

In my opinion, we have to know our place and give our families to God, then allow Him to use us in healing and helpful ways for all concerned - even when we don't understand.

Anything a man cannot change, he must accept - Festus (from Gunsmoke :)

Jul 31, 2014
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heavy heart
by: pop pop

My young granddaughter is going through something similar and I'm so sad that i can't help her what's this world coming too where we have to leave our young one's in the hands of neglectful parents and the government says it's ok.My heart and soul aches for her everyday and all i can do is leave it in God's hand.God help us all.

Apr 30, 2013
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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