Alcoholic Situation Involving Grandchildren

How should we act when the parents of our grandchildren are alcoholics? As grandparents it can be difficult to quit being enablers because we feel that our actions will directly effect the grandchildren. This is a tough situation to be faced with.

We want the best for the kids. Therefore, it’s possible to continue to provide things for the family in order to reduce the suffering that the grand-kids have to endure. This can often be a very troubling situation. It’s better known as a “catch twenty two” or “being caught between a rock and a hard place.” An alcoholic situation involving grandchildren needs to be handled just like any other instance where alcoholism is present in the family.

A close friend of mine has a daughter who is an alcoholic. She is divorced and has three children. The grandmother (my friend) is always doing things like paying the electric bill, providing rent money and buying just about anything the grandchildren need.

A normal day for the alcoholic daughter is to get up, find some alcohol to consume and then get the kids ready for school. Once the kids are gone, she spends her time getting drunk, sleeping and watching TV most of the day.

The daughter has an easy life because my friend (grandma) provides for the family because she feels sorry for the children. Perhaps this story sounds familiar. If the daughter needs money, mom gives it to her. When the grandchildren need something, the grandmother is there to serve them hand-and-foot.

As long as this sort of thing continues, the daughter could possibly end up dying from being such a serious alcoholic. Yes, the Grandmother is being a tremendous enabler. Her daughter does not have to get a job and everything she and the children need is basically taken care of by the grandparents. It would do here some good to start setting boundaries with the alcoholic daughter.

An alcoholic must hit a hard “bottom” before they will decide to get help. As long as we continue to enable them to keep drinking without suffering any consequences, they may never get well. The same “rules” apply even when there are grandchildren present.

You will need to learn how to let go of the alcoholic and still hold on to the grandchildren. There are going to be times when the kids will have to suffer because of their alcoholic mother or father’s actions. The best place to learn how to deal with an alcoholic is through attending alcoholism support group meetings. You will find an enormous amount of help from people who have grandchildren living in very similar situations as the one your family is experiencing.

3 comments to Alcoholic Situation Involving Grandchildren

  • Susan Freeman

    why do the courts allow the child of an established (court ordered rehab and daily failed breathalyzer test) to continue to have visitation with their child. She drives to pick up child drunk, and on drugs, and drops her off the same way. Why?

  • I am the gramma’ of the grandchild who drinks, and the great gramma’ of her 2 kids… Her 2 kids get support checks from the government because their dad died, and the mother doesn’t have a job, so that’s where the mother gets her drinking money…i sometimes buy the kids clothes so the kids at school will stop making fun of them…Plus I sometimes wash their clothes, the kids I mean…they all live with the mom’s mom and dad… The grandfather smokes pot, and the grandma is scared of every body!!!The grandfather is my son…The oldest great granddaughter wants to come and live with me again..That’s another story…I feel sorry for the youngest, as she is always depressed and cries a lot…her mother goes out quite often… the oldest one has to watch her as the grandma and grandpa goes out too..They don’t want to get involved..I want to kick allllll their ass’es!!!! Not the kid’s tho…there is so much more to all this..Just what can I do…I tried to talk to the granddaughter, but she stopped talking to me…She say’s she may have a drinking problem, but she is not an alcoholic.. help me please!!!!! kids are 15&9.. Mom is 36/???

  • i did type you something

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