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Topic : Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Number of Replies: 316
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:46:10 pm
Author : dataimport
Grandparents face unique challenges raising their grandchildren. Share your advice, support and stories here.

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January 8, 2008, 11:05 am CST

grandparents raising grandchildren

I too am a grandmother raising her grandchild -- we have custody of our 19 mth old grandson-- he's the joy of our lives.   It's is a sometimes very tiring -- daycare is costly -- but we're so glad he's with us.  Our other 4 mth old grandson is in foster care.  Our  daughter is in rehab  --again.  They act like it's no big deal -- they're addicts -- they can't help it.  They want us to go to alanon to try to understand the addict.   
 
January 8, 2008, 11:34 am CST

My Husband Wants to Raise Our Grandaughter but I Don't Want To

I divorced from my first marriage almost 11 years ago due to the fact that my ex-husband sexually abused the youngest child. As a full-custodial parent, I raised the three kids all by my lonesome until I married last year in June 2007. Many challenges were presented to me over those years due to the fact that the two younger children have disabilities (one has both bipolar disorder and aspberger's disorder...while the other has bipolar disorder only). As a result, I feel truly "beat up" every day after dealing with the challenges my kids present as well as working a full-time job.

 

I thought that things might get a little easier after marrying for the second time. After all, the additional income would certainly help. Also, the children (now aged 11, 15 and 18) would finally have a father figure in thier lives. This simply was not the case.

 

My husband lost his job just weeks before our wedding and decided to open his own business. He has taken virtually all of the minimal profits produced and put them right back into the business to build more sales. I understand that a certain amount of this MUST happen in order to build things up...but the additional expenses of another person in the home have simply made things even harder on me. Now it seems that all that I do is work.

 

To add further stress to our situation, my stepdaughter (in her early 20's) has a little girl aged 5. Over the past few years, she has shown little to no responsibility for either herself or our grandaughter. She has difficulty obtaining housing as she does not maintain employment. When she does find an apartment of her own, she normally simply forgoes paying rent and eventually gets evicted. She has had cars reposessed...and even GIVEN cars away when the break because she doesn't want to get one fixed.

 

Her little girl is often dumped on others when she doesn't wish to deal with her. Our grandaughter has never been to the dentist and has several cavities, STILL sucks on a pacifier (at age 5), and doesn't want to sleep in her own bed (because her mother has never made her).

 

I am absolutely furious with my stepdaughter's behavior and believe her to be a very poor excuse of a parent. Personally, I'm a believer in "tough love" and think that she really needs to be told that what she is doing is completely irresponsible and inappropriate. Yet there have been times that I have seen my husband come very close to excusing her behavior...saying things like, "If your aunt will give you a place to give for a while, then you should take it. She's been in your situation too before...so she knows how it is. She understands your predicament."

 

Now wait a minute...didn't my stepdaughter CREATE her own predicament?

 

So as a result, the aunt kicked my stepdaughter out because she used the woman as a babysitter while partying (even though she had no job). Since then my stepdaughter has lived in three more places that she was also kicked out of. Finally my husband showed up at home one day with our grandaughter...WITHOUT talking things over with me and presented us with another family member to care for due to his daughter's  inadequacies. He explained that the situation was temporary (until his daughter gets back on her feet).

 

I am currently resentful of the situation for several reasons. First...he believes that he is tough and forward with his daughter...and I do not agree. For example, she has lied to me before...and he never confronted her with the fact that she did. Second, he states that everyone makes mistakes and can change.

 

True, but I don't believe that his daughter WANTS TO because her behavior has been excused for so long.

 

Third, he simply showed up with our grandaughter without even discussing things with me first. I doubt I would have said no to TEMPORARILY keeping her...but it would have been nice to have been included in the decision. Fourth, let's not forget that my husband makes no income yet...so I have another mouth to feed, body to house, etc. (you would think that this alone would warrant asking). The current, the 50-60 hours of work each week is really killing me right now.

 

Fifth, my husband has already stated that he intends to raise our grandaughter until she is an adult if he has to.

 

Currently, I am overtaxed, overstressed, overworked...and very upset about the way this situation is going. On one hand, I understand the situation my husband is in. He loves his grandaughter very much and doesn't want to see her hurt. On the other hand, I strongly feel we should be making mutual decisions as a married couple...and this is simply not happening. Not to mention...I DO NOT want to raise another child for the next 13 years. Although I am empathetic...part of me is contemplating divorce if he decides on his own that he will be raising our grandaughter. I feel guilty about the way I feel...but it is the way I feel. 

 

Any advice or words of wisdom?

 
January 8, 2008, 7:32 pm CST

I fully understand how you feel about this!!!

My husband and I have adopted two of our grandchildren. We got them both as infants, and they are now ages 2 and 3. The LAST thing we wanted was to start ALLLLL over again, BUT the only other option we had was for them to go to foster care. Well, I've been a foster mom before of 18 children (not all at once, of course) and I know what kind of foster mom I AM, but not too sure about other people's fostering techniques. So, we ended up adopting these two half-sisters.  We have two "home-made" boys in their 30's, the mother of these children is 27 and we also have an 18 year old college Freshman. (All total, we've adopted 4 children.) We have 8 other grandchildren that we adore, and would much rather be grandparents to these precious children. HOWEVER, this is what God has for us and we will have a 14 year old at our 50th wedding anniversary.

Sounds tacky, but at tax-time we're REALLY glad they're there. LOL! AND we sleep SO good!

They have been told from day one that we are really their grandparents and they see their mother (who we adopted when she was 8 years old) and know that she IS their mother, but that I am MOMMY... Mommies are the ones who are there at 2 in the AM when they've had a bad dream. Mother is the one who loved them enough to know that  she wasn't qualified to rear them into adulthood because at 27, she's not there yet herself.

It's a tough decision, but don't settle on a "NO" yet. Think it over for awhile. Your granddaughter will benefit and so will YOU!

 
January 14, 2008, 1:27 pm CST

maybe i can help

Quote From: nanny5x5

   I hoping that maybe I can find some answers here about adoption.  We have been wanting to adopt our four year old granddaughter.  We have had her since birth and 3 years ago we went to court abd recieved sole custody of her.  Now we want to make things more final. My daughter her mother seldom sees her and is now pregnant with another child.  We have had to make big changes since this has all come about.  If you can help me with some answers on this I will truly be blessed.  Im thinking our first step would be to call a lawyer.  Please let me know so we can start making our steps forward.......Thank You So Very Much....Nanny5x5 

 it seems all you will have to do is get a lawyer and have them file a petition for adoption. then the mother of the child and the father of the child will sign their rights away. then there will be a 10day waiting period, to make sure the parents dont revoke their rights. after that the adoption will proceed. hope this helps. tammie
 
January 21, 2008, 12:35 pm CST

Oh girl!!

Quote From: qtpie28

hello.I gave my first daughter to my mom and step-dad.It was one of the worst mistakes I have ever made.They told me how great it would be and that I could see her whenever I wanted,I havent seen my now 9 year old daughter for about 5 years.I am not allowed to call her,write to her or even think about her.Thats what I was told.I also gave my son to my ex fiances parents because we didnt have the finances to care for him.The difference is that I get to talk to him on a regular basis.He is spoiled rotten.I miss my kids and the point is,if I could do it again I would never give them to thier grandparents.I would have raised them myself.
I know how you feel. I believed that my ex husband was being honest with me. He moved to another state and I allowed his parents to get partial custody of our son while he was gone only because he told me we would change it back when he moved back but this way I couldnt keep him from them while he was gone. That he would send me money when I needed it etc...to help out. Never happened. Imagine that. Now I have partial/50/50 custody with my ex mother in law and his dad is in another state and doesnt have to be responsible for our son now. his mother lets him think its okay. Ughh Now I am afraid that I have done that its like I dont want my son. I want my son with me all the time...I dont mind him gonig over to their house...I wish I could change it  though where I had full custody and my ex was paying support to be responsible but now his mother has control and I cant afford to go to court and fix it. I didnt have the money at the time to fix it then and I had no choice at the time but I wish I had a good lawyer that would fight for kids and didnt charge a lot. My son doesnt deserve this. I would never keep my son away from his family EVER but she tried to take my son away from me since his dad left and she was afraid she couldnt see her grandson...I was upset with my ex for not helping me out financially...never was intentionally not letting my son see his family. But since I had NO money; to fight they got what they wanted. Luckily I agreed to partial custody because she was trying to get full custody. That scared me and I am not a bad mom. I do the best that I can. I need DR PHIL's help!! And they do too :)
 
January 24, 2008, 1:19 pm CST

Babysitting grandchildren

I am at my wits end! I have 2 granddaughters who I love dearly ages 4 and 6. The problem is that their parents don't discipline them at all and it's gotten to the place where I don't want to baby sit them anymore because I have no control over them. If they're in the right mood, things go well. If they're not (which they usually aren't), they don't. I have a spindle staircase and the 4 yr old broke one of the spindles by shaking it. Big Red spills have ruined my carpet. If I try to tell them "no", they tell me I'm not their boss. Whatever happened to the days when we respected our elders? Period? I really looked forward to being a grandparent and now I hate it! I can't spoil my grandchildren - they're already spoiled by having no rules in their lives. They are both cute girls and I hate to see the direction they're going but if I say anything it results in not being able to see them at all. This has already happened once - my son had an affair with a woman he worked with and I didn't get to see the girls for 3 years. No win.
 
January 26, 2008, 6:16 am CST

unfortunate

Quote From: qtpie28

hello.I gave my first daughter to my mom and step-dad.It was one of the worst mistakes I have ever made.They told me how great it would be and that I could see her whenever I wanted,I havent seen my now 9 year old daughter for about 5 years.I am not allowed to call her,write to her or even think about her.Thats what I was told.I also gave my son to my ex fiances parents because we didnt have the finances to care for him.The difference is that I get to talk to him on a regular basis.He is spoiled rotten.I miss my kids and the point is,if I could do it again I would never give them to thier grandparents.I would have raised them myself.
How unfortunate for you, and how wrong it is. I have had my second grandson since his birth, and my first grandson lives with his dad. My daughter's life consists of prostitution and ddrugs. But no matter what her crime, they are still her sons and they know her. The baby my husband and her step dad are adopting. I am mommy and she is mama. Although she has never lived with us and she only see's him every so often, he knows the difference. He is only two, and I would never keep him from her, it wouldn't be fair to him. When he is older we will explain things to him. It will be up to her to explain why he doesn't live with her. For your daughters sake I hope your mom starts to realize she needs her real mom too.
 
January 30, 2008, 11:20 am CST

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

   I have strong feelings about this topic. I'm 18 and have 4 brothers and 1 sister. I've always pretty much been the quiet kid who doesn't get into trouble. Well, when I was 15, my sister (who's 12 years older than me) was in jail for an extended time and pregnant. My mom had to go and get my nephew when he was a few days old. Well, my got tired and wore down, so when my nephew was about six months, I started helping watch and feed him a lot. Well, that was in the summer. When school started back, my mom decided to home school me. Well, what happened was, my mom got depressed and depended on me a lot to help care for my nephew. After a while, I became so depressed that I wouldn't even load the dishwasher. When it was time to go somewhere, I usually didn't go because I knew I'd be the one having to watch my nephew in the store or whereever. Plus, I didn't want people thinking he was mine, 'cause I'm so young. Well, I eventually got to the place where I didn't want to go anywhere. I developed baddd social anxiety. (I've always pretty much had social anxiety, just not where I wouldn't leave the house or lead my life). I still have it now and don't go anywhere. I have a lot of anger built up towards my mom and sister that I've gotten into many arguments with my mom and even with two of my brothers. Everyone thinks I'm being selfish. I really love my nephew and want him to live with us. I just wish my mom would have taken more responsibility. She was raised where if she didn't do what her parents wanted, she got whipped. So, she thinks that I'm just being a brat. She acts like she has no compassion for me because of the way she was raised. She has told me that she wants me to have a better life than she did, but she doesn't put those words into action. It seems almost like she gets jealous if she thinks I'm going to have anything better than she had.    Believe me, I'm not a mean, hateful person. I just have so much built up anger that it's making me mean.  I'm supposed to be graduating this year and going to college next year, but I've ended up just dropping out because I've been so depressed for the last 3 years. My mom doesn't want to take responsibility for me being so depressed. She jumps onto me like it's my fault. Yet she wants me to forget what she's done.   I guess the point of this is, parents please take care of your own kids. You can affect more people than you realize. Plus, your own parents are older, and it's not easy for them.  Also, my sister doesn't even know how much this has affected me. I just want to tell her how much she'll regret not caring for her son. It makes me sad to think about. Hope I didn't come off as bitter. I just have so much I need to get out and someone to listen.
 
February 1, 2008, 8:57 pm CST

boundaries?

My adult daughter lives with me and my husband.  She has a 15 yr old son M. They have lived with us for the last 4 yrs. Because my daughter has a serious chronic illness and has days when she doesn't feel too great, I have taken on some of her parental responsibilities. For instance, tonight my gs C. asked to stay overnight with an older friend. I told him no. My daughter came home and told C. it was ok. I'm going crazy trying to figure out if I'm intruding on her parenting, but I think she is too lenient. I don't want him to have friends overnight ( I don't feel comfortable with it, although he has had friends stay overnight in the past).

My grandson is bipolar I'm pretty sure. He is taking zoloft and risperdal. I love him dearly but he can be very manipulative and very persistent. I don't feel right just letting him stay overnight with a friend, but my daughter thinks that it's ok. Where do my responsibilities end? Sometimes I feel maybe I'm being too domineering or bossy but I'm trying to raise him not to be a wild child. If it was up to me and I had the means I would put him in a monastery or a Catholic boarding school. (just kidding).

He has had problems with depression and been hospitalized in the past and that may be why my daughter and myself are too lenient at times. A year ago after he had had some emotional problems he smoked a ciggarette and now he's hooked. I wish he'd never started. But my daughter was afraid he'd hurt himself if she made him quit. But his emotional health just took precedence over his smoking. I started smoking when I was 14. Just wondering if anyone might have some good advice or been in a similar situation.
 
February 2, 2008, 7:38 am CST

hang in there

Quote From: strwbrryptch08

   I have strong feelings about this topic. I'm 18 and have 4 brothers and 1 sister. I've always pretty much been the quiet kid who doesn't get into trouble. Well, when I was 15, my sister (who's 12 years older than me) was in jail for an extended time and pregnant. My mom had to go and get my nephew when he was a few days old. Well, my got tired and wore down, so when my nephew was about six months, I started helping watch and feed him a lot. Well, that was in the summer. When school started back, my mom decided to home school me. Well, what happened was, my mom got depressed and depended on me a lot to help care for my nephew. After a while, I became so depressed that I wouldn't even load the dishwasher. When it was time to go somewhere, I usually didn't go because I knew I'd be the one having to watch my nephew in the store or whereever. Plus, I didn't want people thinking he was mine, 'cause I'm so young. Well, I eventually got to the place where I didn't want to go anywhere. I developed baddd social anxiety. (I've always pretty much had social anxiety, just not where I wouldn't leave the house or lead my life). I still have it now and don't go anywhere. I have a lot of anger built up towards my mom and sister that I've gotten into many arguments with my mom and even with two of my brothers. Everyone thinks I'm being selfish. I really love my nephew and want him to live with us. I just wish my mom would have taken more responsibility. She was raised where if she didn't do what her parents wanted, she got whipped. So, she thinks that I'm just being a brat. She acts like she has no compassion for me because of the way she was raised. She has told me that she wants me to have a better life than she did, but she doesn't put those words into action. It seems almost like she gets jealous if she thinks I'm going to have anything better than she had.    Believe me, I'm not a mean, hateful person. I just have so much built up anger that it's making me mean.  I'm supposed to be graduating this year and going to college next year, but I've ended up just dropping out because I've been so depressed for the last 3 years. My mom doesn't want to take responsibility for me being so depressed. She jumps onto me like it's my fault. Yet she wants me to forget what she's done.   I guess the point of this is, parents please take care of your own kids. You can affect more people than you realize. Plus, your own parents are older, and it's not easy for them.  Also, my sister doesn't even know how much this has affected me. I just want to tell her how much she'll regret not caring for her son. It makes me sad to think about. Hope I didn't come off as bitter. I just have so much I need to get out and someone to listen.
 Hi,

You sound like a really mature young lady who has had alot of responsibility on her shoulders. It's too bad your mother hasn't given you more support and your sister hasn't taken responsibility for her child. I hope things get better for you, and they probably will when you go to college. You can be proud of yourself for helping out your family. 
 
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