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How Can I Make My Daughter See That Alcohol Is Taking Control of Her Life?

My 33 year old daughter and 4 year old grandaughter moved back in with us because she said she was finding it hard to "make ends meet". I was fine with her moving back in because my grandaughter's father has abused my daughter on at least two occassion and been arrested.

The last time he got 30 days in jail. I felt she was safer with us. At one point I know she was abusing prescription pills and I suspect that was why she couldn't "make ends meet". I don't believe she is abusing pills anymore but she drinks vodka almost every night if not every night.

Sometimes it doesn't seem so bad but sometimes she is totally out of control and does not remember anything. One night she put food in the oven and left it on - I smelled smoke and the oven was on fire. I thought that would have scared her enough to stop.

About a month after that she was totally out of control - not remembering giving my grandaughter a bath - or that she had eaten, walking around with no clothes on, smearing lipstik all over her face, turning the oven on, etc.

I wrote an email to her that she read the next morning. She seemed very sincere and sorry. She was embrassed and looked into a alcohol abuse program. She did good for about a week - back to her old self and I had hope.

I had hoped she would start the program this week but she did not. Tonight when she came home I could tell she had been drinking, but not sure how much. She didn't get out of control but I know she had several drinks.

My grandaughter stayed up with me to read a book. She wanted to sleep with her Mom so I went with her to the bedroom. My daughter had a lit cigerate (even though I don't allow smoking in the house) and had burned a hole in the sheet and bedspread. I shutter to think what would have happened had I not been there.

She has a good job and does fine on her job, but every night I don't know what to expect. She seems to have a hard time remembering things and I often question if she is telling me the truth.

I have talked and pleaded and I can't seem to make a differance in her life. Where do I turn? I am worried about both my grandaughter and daughter's safety. Answer

You have start holding your daughter accountable for her to start taking responsibility for her life. Right now she has a free reign basically to do as she pleases, and so isn't having to live with any consequences for her alcoholism or her irresponsible behavior.

That means you have to start putting some boundaries in place at home, and make it clear to her that while you love her, you can't simply let her continue as is. She either has to get help for her drinking problem - or there will be consequences from your side.

Right now your daughter isn't fulfilling her primary responsibility of being a good mother to her daughter. She can't if alcohol is playing such a big role in her life. And she needs to know that. So if she isn't prepared to change and continues to drink the way she does, she should know that ultimately she could lose her daughter. Is she prepared to live with that consequence?

Begging and pleading doesn't help. You need to be clear and firm with your daughter. Talk from a place of love and concern, but make it clear you'll no longer be accepting her BS. Her getting help has to be a non-negotiable.

Some think of it as tough love, but tough love is probably not the best way to describe it. It's more a case of helping your daughter to start taking responsibility for her life and understanding that if she continues making poor choices - the consequences are going to be unpleasant.

It won't be easy. But you have to do this for your daughter, and more critically your granddaughter, who deserves her mother to be there for her 100% of the time. Because if alcohol is running her life, that becomes impossible.

Best of Luck

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