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My Daughter is an Alcoholic and Single Parent. How Can I Best Help My Granddaughter?

by Renee

My 28 year old daughter is an alcoholic. She is the mother of my 3 year old granddaughter. She is a single parent. How can I best help my granddaughter? I realize until my daughter wants help there is not much I can do about her. I have tried for years.

I am so worried about my granddaughter and need to know how I can best help her. Thanks so much for your time and I look forward to your reply.


Hi Renee

Bringing up a young child in an alcoholic home is totally unfair on the child and can cause lasting damage.

Children need love, stability, attention etc. to thrive and grow up healthy, which is in most cases obviously difficult to provide as an alcoholic parent.

So if things are really bad with your daughter, can you not come to some kind of arrangement with her so that you take on the primary responsibility of looking after your granddaughter?

It's obviously won't be an easy conversation to have with your daughter, but tell her you want what is best for your granddaughter and want to provide her with a more harmonious environment - which your daughter simply can't provide right now. That'll give her time to get help and straighten her life out - and once she's done that, she can then 'take over' again.

Position it as only being a temporary thing and that you still want your daughter involved, but that it'll be easier for her to address her problem without the burden of also having a young child to bring up.

You don't say how bad things are with your daughter or how her drinking is affecting her parenting - but if it's bad enough and your daughter is unable to be a fit mother, you'd have to consider getting social services involved and look at taking over custody of bringing up your granddaughter, if she didn't agree to your suggestion.

Look, it really depends on how bad your daughter's drinking is and how it's affecting her job as a mother. If she's still doing a pretty good job, you have to appeal to her reason and offer to help where you can, to maybe help take the load off. If things are bad, use a tougher approach.

A child needs their mother, dependent on course on the mother's ability to take care of and look after the child. So it's difficult to comment not knowing the full picture. I've given a few suggestions that cover most of the possibilities, but ultimately use your common sense to decide what the best approach will be.

Best of Luck and Take Care

Comments for My Daughter is an Alcoholic and Single Parent. How Can I Best Help My Granddaughter?

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Nov 15, 2015
Advice on helping my alcoholic addicted daughter NEW
by: Anonymous

I desperately I need advice about helping my daughter . She is 27 years old and she is an alcoholic. She has two kids, one is 6 years old and the oldest is 8 years old. She has being an alcoholic, since she was 18 years old but now that she is 27 years old she got worse, she drinks almost every day and forgets that she is a mother that she has to take care of her kids and to help them with homework every day and to spend time and play with them. She just like to be talking with friend on her cell phone and watching tv. and eating, When my grand kids ask her for help . She gets really angry and stared cursing and screaming. When she go out with friends she leaves for two or three days and If my grand kids trying to contact her she did not answer her phone or she turns off the phone. She mistreat me. She lies all the time. I wanted to help her so bad to go into rehab, but financially I'm not able to do it. I'm being thinking about get some help but I' don't know where . If I get free help. I need to stop working to take care of my two grandkids, but unfortunately I cannot be able to stop working, since I'm a single mother and taking care of my daughter and my two grand kids. So I don't know what to do. I also don't want to that my grandkids father find out about my daughter's illness , he will take the kids away from my daughter. Just to use the kids , since he is a dead bet and he does drugs and keeps having kids with any women, He is not a fit father. How can get custody of my two grandkids. So I desperate need help. Hope someone it will be able to help.

Nov 01, 2012
if we had it to do over - call social services
by: R

my daughter, 37 years old, has been an alcoholic for 13 years - since her first and second child were born, then she divorced. violent divorce. she's drank on and off for 13 years. many fights, lots of violence, police, and NEVER has social services stepped in. As grandparents, aunt and uncle we have done everything possible to help, give money, pay rent, clothe the kids, pay for the car, insurance, food.... and nothing helps. If I could go back 10 years I would have asked social services to remove the kids for their safety. now they are teenagers, caught in her alcoholic binges and they are in the middle. It's a vicious circle that never ends. and i don't know where to turn.

Sep 14, 2011
Daughter age 25 is an alcoholic mother of two.
by: Anonymous

I have just only yesterday handed over my grandsons x 2 to their A mother. I had to take unpaid leave 31 days ago. My daughter was a 6 out of 7 scale for cervical cancer. She was operated on immediately and told to take rest for 5 weeks. This is where I stepped in regarding my grandsons needs. The youngest grandson is only 15 months old. Oldest age 6. During their stay with me, we established routine and stability. It was heart breaking to witness the fear and insecurities my grandsons had adopted. After lots of love, nurturing, guidance, reassurance and routinely fed, signs of stability started to show.
My daughter is in denial with her addiction and has previously had an neglect case file for the oldest grandson.. when he was 14 months old if I remember rightly. I have kept the original copy sent to me. Some consolation is that my daughter has returned to her normal daily activities.. and started a college course. The Government are funding nursery fees for the youngest grandson. peace of mind for part of the day is knowing my grandson is back at school and now nursery. I have nearly lost my job and my sanity. My daughter may be Bi Polar. Her shouting and screaming at the kids is horrific! The 6 yr old has no opinion or voice to be heard by her. He is numb. He has been in the middle of terrible domestic violence. 53 call outs in 14 months! Unknown to me at the time. My daughter lives in a dead end road. Small road. Most of the people who live their are in a tight community of drugs and alcohol dependency. My daughter often goes off on holidays..stopping over at alcoholic friends. She gets wasted. Boasts about it on FB. No one can stop's the kids who have to look after her. I am actually having a little time to myself before I return to work. I cannot talk to my daughter.. she shouts, curses, screams and threatens. My grandsons are used as pawns. For the last 7 years.. I have spent literally thousands of pounds over the past 7 years. clothing, shoes, furnished the house. Entertainment. I've had enough of this vicious circle. What can I do to gain custody of my grandsons? I feel absolutely awful having to let them go back to hell!

Jul 29, 2011
same problem x3
by: stella65

my daughter is 27. She is an alcoholic. She had been doing ok for the last 7 years or so, she was living with her boyfriend out west and she was 8 months pregnant with there third child when he decided to leave her and the kids for another woman/life. She was devistated and broke and 8 months pregnant. After the baby was born we sent our son out on a rescue mission to fly her and the kids back home 3000 miles. The kids were ages 5 2 and 1 month. They were forced to leave everything behind except for what they could bring on the plane. They moved in with us into our very small first time empty nester apartment, just one week before christmas. My daughter did some drinking off and on but nothing that seemed abnormal for someone who had been through what she had. But over time it has gotten much worse, she's a closet drinker. She will drink anytime of day and lately her parenting skills have gone right down the drain. She will leave the kids with me or her cousin and then she will make herself unavailable by not answering her cell phone or coming up with some other excuse. She is has become very clever at trying to hide her drinking but I know, a mother knows. She has completely overtaken my apartment, my life, my sanity. She has drained me financially, emotionally and even physically. My husband and I fight about her all the time, I know he is right but I just want him to be wrong so bad. Right at this moment I am waiting for her to come and get the baby so I can get some things done. She promised last night she would be here by 8:00am in the morning, it is noon time now and I have called her 3 times already. I need to pack. We have been evicted. When she moved in, I had a good job, but between the stress of the job and the stress of coming home to her major issues and trying to show these children love and stability it was all to much to handle and I lost my job. I love my grandchildren so much, they are so beautiful and have blessed my life in so many ways. I feel so bad that there mom just can't seem to get herself together. They have finally found a place and they will be moving out in another 3 days, but I do not have a lot of faith that she will be able to do it, she needs rehab and some major counseling. At the end of my rope and I am not sure what to do next. I am afraid if I try to get temporary custody the dead beat dad will find out and try to take the kids himself and that would be so wrong, and heart breaking for me and my husband. What do I do now

Apr 11, 2011
Single parent alcoholic - Don't wait
by: Anonymous

I'm a daughter of a single parent alcoholic mother and have had an involvement with social services since I was 12 (I'm now 28). I was never removed from my mother's care but I wish I had been. I'm now caught in a situation of trying to remove my younger siblings from her care. Nothing has changed in 20 years except her mental & physical health has deteriorated and it's torture to know that my younger siblings are with her. So I guess what I'm saying is - don't wait. If you can offer the child a better life, do it and call social services. You never know, it might be early enough to help her realize what she has lost. The threats never worked with my mother but if we had been removed from her care, who knows, it may have stopped her.

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