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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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February 15, 2008, 9:47 am CST

negative

Quote From: slcovey

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?

I hate to say it but I would RUN. If your kids already have problems this could make things worse. Especially Boys with young girls. I know.
 
February 23, 2008, 12:36 pm CST

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

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.

I appreciate you making a point that I feel is often overlooked.   My husband's parents are helping to raise my SIL's child.  The parents are good decent people, just prefer to spend their time doing other things... so the grandparents have the kid every day and she stays overnight a few nights every week.   The grandparents brought her to our kids birthday parties (without the parents).  She is there (without the parents) whenever we go to visit.  The result is, their attention is always on this child during visits becasue they are in the parent role.  Also, they're all babied out, and TIRED.  They basically have their own kid, our kids aren't so cute anymore.  When they do visit w/o "their" kid, it's a rare break for them to not be caring for her so so they want our kids to be quiet, etc, so they can enjoy their adult time away!  LOL!

So a side-effect of this is that our kids lost a set of grandparents.  They basically now act as an aunt and uncle to our children.  It stinks.  And I don't think anybody notices nor cares. 

I agree, it affects other family relationships as well not just those directly involved in caring for the child.

 

As for you, keep your chin up and start focusing on yourself and how you can get out on your own.  You need to start your own life. 

Thanks again for pointing out an often overlooked fact of parents not caring for their own children. 

 
March 13, 2008, 11:57 am CDT

Grandparents raising three grandchildren

I have a question for anyone who has seen the same pattern of behavior that I will explain.  We have a three year old granddaughter living with us.  She is a very intelligent, inquisitive child.  She is very talkative, but polite, obeys us when she is asked to do something and never throws a temper tantrum.  Almost an angel.  She absolutely lights up when you tell her that her mother is coming for a visit or to take her for an overnight visit.  However, while she is with her mother, she turns into a little monster.  She hits her mother, talks back, will not go to sleep, or sleeps fitfully and wakes up at 4am, throws tantrums, you name it, she does it.  Then, when she is back with us, it takes just overnight, and she is back to her sweet loving self again.  What in the world is going on?  I know she loves her mother, but she acts the opposite.  Can anyone give me some insight into this problem?
 
March 20, 2008, 10:16 pm CDT

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Do these things really happen? My 3 year old granddaughter is not the same since her non-custodial father decided he wanted to be a daddy. She was born out of wedlock. My daughter went to the hospital alone to have a beautiful baby. He was never involved in anyway whatsoever. There has been alot of drama concerning my daughter but one thing for sure she always made sure the girls were well taken care of. She has alot of growing up to do and believe me she's not a saint.Yes girls a 7yr old and a 3yr old. They have differnet fathers both losers. They have lived with me for most of the time. If anyone has supported them it's been me. I have tons bills to prove it. Everything from the common cold to RSV to falling of bikes birthday parties, Christmas etc. has always been done by us and my family members. When my daughter was struggling with finding a job and money she decided that it would be better to apply for state assistant so at least the girls would have some kind of insurance. As you all know this meant paternity had to be established. Well when Frank  was served and paternity was done he then decided to be a daddy. If des hadn't made him do the paternity he would of never even been in her life.By the way this man got married last year has 2 kids with his wife and 2 more with another women  he does not have custody of them.And he has a long criminal background.  All this doesnt matter as far as the law is concerned. I just about lost it when my daughter was served a temporary custody without notice based on false accusation by some of his friends and sister. Yes he was given temp custody. I wanted to die. I did all I could and it was always (sorry he can do this he is the father,sorry u have to wait till the court date to let the judge decide etc.) The best one came from cps (hahaha he pulled a sneaky on you...) My daughter didn't know what to do. We pleaded with him to sit down and work it out for visitaion rights etc. No he wouldnt hear of it. It was getting a slap in the face. What about our rights?  My grandbaby hardly knew this man and he was given every right. All this was started just right before Christmas. The court date was set for Jan and he got to keep her. Well now the court has been reset due to a change in venue but some of the custody was given back to my daughter. He gets her one week my daughter has her one week. It is the most heart wrenching experience to see my Raven cry and cry when she has to go with him. I can hardly stand it. She use to be so happy cheerful, now she is sad and hardly ever smiles. But he still wont let her stay with her mother. This has also affected her older sister that she cries when her baby sister has to leave. The new court date is April 22nd. You can bet on it I will be there for my daughter and granddaughter. This is not the end of it.
 
March 24, 2008, 10:03 am CDT

Things looking a little better

Quote From: nana5472

Do these things really happen? My 3 year old granddaughter is not the same since her non-custodial father decided he wanted to be a daddy. She was born out of wedlock. My daughter went to the hospital alone to have a beautiful baby. He was never involved in anyway whatsoever. There has been alot of drama concerning my daughter but one thing for sure she always made sure the girls were well taken care of. She has alot of growing up to do and believe me she's not a saint.Yes girls a 7yr old and a 3yr old. They have differnet fathers both losers. They have lived with me for most of the time. If anyone has supported them it's been me. I have tons bills to prove it. Everything from the common cold to RSV to falling of bikes birthday parties, Christmas etc. has always been done by us and my family members. When my daughter was struggling with finding a job and money she decided that it would be better to apply for state assistant so at least the girls would have some kind of insurance. As you all know this meant paternity had to be established. Well when Frank  was served and paternity was done he then decided to be a daddy. If des hadn't made him do the paternity he would of never even been in her life.By the way this man got married last year has 2 kids with his wife and 2 more with another women  he does not have custody of them.And he has a long criminal background.  All this doesnt matter as far as the law is concerned. I just about lost it when my daughter was served a temporary custody without notice based on false accusation by some of his friends and sister. Yes he was given temp custody. I wanted to die. I did all I could and it was always (sorry he can do this he is the father,sorry u have to wait till the court date to let the judge decide etc.) The best one came from cps (hahaha he pulled a sneaky on you...) My daughter didn't know what to do. We pleaded with him to sit down and work it out for visitaion rights etc. No he wouldnt hear of it. It was getting a slap in the face. What about our rights?  My grandbaby hardly knew this man and he was given every right. All this was started just right before Christmas. The court date was set for Jan and he got to keep her. Well now the court has been reset due to a change in venue but some of the custody was given back to my daughter. He gets her one week my daughter has her one week. It is the most heart wrenching experience to see my Raven cry and cry when she has to go with him. I can hardly stand it. She use to be so happy cheerful, now she is sad and hardly ever smiles. But he still wont let her stay with her mother. This has also affected her older sister that she cries when her baby sister has to leave. The new court date is April 22nd. You can bet on it I will be there for my daughter and granddaughter. This is not the end of it.
     This past weekend I went on a trip to see my granddaughter after I talked to her on the phone. I knew right away that something was wrong. When I got there she was sitting in her chair with the most sad face I have ever seen on her. I tiptoed into her room and called out her name. She ran to me and hugged me so tight I thought I was going to lose it and break down and cry. For her sake I kept it together. I knew there were things that I needed to ask her but waited a couple days to see how she was. Without going into to much detail it all boils down to one thing. The so called stepmother. Unfortunatley I can't really get into it until court but the great news is my granddaughter does not have to go stay with her dad. The difference in her once she knew this was like night and day!!!!  The outcome looks good
 
March 24, 2008, 4:31 pm CDT

raising 3 grandchildren

Our ex-daughter-in-law  called us after not speaking to us for 2 1/2 - 3 yrs. Asked me if we wanted the kids, I was so excited and surprised, I said what for the week and she said no forever. I told her we would have to do it legal. she said ok, but could we get the lawyer. I said yes. Well, she now wants the kids back after a year, she is mad that the kids are coming out with bad things about her father. We were wondering why she didn't give the kids to her folks, guess we know why. Well, we are back in court this Friday. If there is anyone in New York that can give me some advice please.
 
March 25, 2008, 10:17 pm CDT

Grandmother from Australia!

Hi, this is very interesting, as a grandmother with my 15yo granddaughter in my care. My daughter has borderline personality disorder and has a girl 12 living with her and will have a son born on april 9th, who was unplanned.

My situation has been heart-rending and difficult, with my grandaughter (15) being extremely emotionally abused when she came to live with me almost 2 yrs ago. She is now much improved and happy at high school, with new friends, and now sees her Mother on some weekends, although it can be a volatile relationship. The hurdles now are of the teenage variety! She wants to spread her wings and be out at night etc, which I do not approve of or sanction. It's very difficult, but we are close and I will persist and find a way, while persisting with my standards of behaviour, decency etc. I wish all of you Grandparents the very best of luck and you are all worth your weight in gold.  Best of luck from OZ!  

 
April 8, 2008, 5:59 pm CDT

looking for some guidance

My daughter  lost her 4 minor children January 5, 2007 (on her 30th birthday) after relocating from Michigan to Kentucky. There were several allegations against her & her husband and have been several more since the children were removed from her home. The children are still in foster care. The state is trying to terminate her parental rights. My sister, my niece and I have all offered to take the children which would not be living together but at least in the care of biological family. There have been many postponements, papers being filed late or not at all. The Judge has warned the State of Kentucky that they would be in contempt if certain things were not done and in a timely fashion, but apparently to no avail. The most recent court date was April 7, when the decision was to be made whether to reunite the family, or terminate the parental rights and put the boys up for adoption.  Because one of the doctors only just filed his papers that morning there has been another postponement until November. There was another court date before this one in February which was postponed until April 7.The case worker for the state finally after a year and a half contacted my sister to discuss the matter, and was very discouraging stating that all 4 of the children were special needs, with the three oldest needing ongoing therapy, that 2 have glasses and have had extensive dental work. We knew that these children could not be going through what they have gone through for the last year and a half and not need therapy, and what children don’t need frequent dental visits or visits to the eye doctor? This does not sound like someone who is making every effort to minimize the trauma of being separated form your parents and having your family ripped apart. When I relayed this to my daughter she stated that the State is hurting for money and they make money if they can place the children in state. My daughter also stated that her case worker disclosed to her that they reviewed her own records from her childhood and found me to be unsuitable to take one of the children. When my daughter was approximately 9 or 10 years old she was diagnosed with a mental illness called cyclothymia, which is a mood disorder. Yes we had many dealings with child protective services due to things that my daughter said & did. She also accused my husband at the time of sexually molesting her and then recanted her story . When asked why she would say such a thing she said " when i'm good I dont get any attention. but when I'm bad I get all the attentino I want".She ran away many many times and through all of that I managed to raise her and her brother who was blind from birth the best I could providing a roof over their heads and putting food on the table, going to school meetings, and trying to make their family life a positive experience. I completed a cosmetology course and became a licensed hairdresser in an effort to get off of public assistance and make a better life for myself and my kids. I was never prosecuted for child abuse or neglect in fact each and every day that child protective services was on my doorstep they were welcomed into my home. I went to counseling as they suggested and my children were never once taken away from me. I ask my daughter & her husband what the real story is and they claim that their state appointed attorney does not tell them much and they don’t know what’s happening themselves. When my sister was talking to the social worker she came out and asked her “what have they done that was so horrible that you want to take away their children"? and was told that my daughter would have to sign a release form in order for her to discuss it.  I do not have the resources to hire an attorney myself or even make frequent trips to Kentucky. I don’t know where to turn for help. I so desperately need to try to keep these 4 babies in my family and see that they have a better shot at a happy life than they have had thus far. i am looking for anyone to suggest where I should start. I am in Michigan and the children are in Kentucky. I work an 8-5 Job full time as onlne banking tech support I would welcome any suggestions.
 
May 8, 2008, 1:28 pm CDT

taking my grandchildren to another state

My husband and I have had custody of my daughters 3 children for almost 2 years but they have lived with us for 3 years.  The parents live close but see them rarely.  They are 5, 4 and 3.  My husband is in the Air Force and we have orders to move to another state.  I guess I am concerned that we are making a mistake to take them away from their  extended family.  They see their other grandparents almost every weekend.  The eldest already has some issues about feeling deserted by her parents and I don't want to do anything to mess them up even more, but the other grandparents think we are doing the right thing by taking the away from here for  a while.  When their parents do see them they make promises that they will take them back but of course that never happens.  We did not take them from their parents, they gave them to us because they are always fighting and are not willing to take care of them the way they should be cared for. Anyone out there in the same situation?  Any input would be appreciated

 
May 11, 2008, 6:58 pm CDT

Custody of Grandchildren

Hello I hope that I will receive some information from people on this subject..  I have adopted one of my grandchildren.  I have 4 more that are in Foster care or in Custody over in West Virginia.  To get a lawyer to go over to WV and fight it will cost around 10000 dollars.  The courts over there said that I have no rights as a grandparent.  They came to my house and checked it out and everything was ok.   The only reason why they will not let me have my grandchildren is because I live in Virginia and they want the money in WV.  If any one is going through something similar to this please email me back.  I have cried and even thought that I was a bad mom and grandmom because of it..  Thank You
 
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