Parenting an adult addict is never easy. When your relationship with a person that you have known their whole life is flipped on its head, it can be a serious challenge to understand how we should be acting and reacting with them. So what do you do when your adult addicted child has a child or two on their own? When do you take those dreaded steps to officially take care of your grandchild? Is this really the only option that you have when it comes to your grown child and parenting problems?
Having a plan helps
Fortunately, addiction isn’t something that slowly creeps up on you. You’re going to see this condition coming, and while you may not be able to stop it, you can have a plan in place if your addicted child gets to a point where she cannot care for her child. In your plan, you will need to discuss with the rest of your family what will be indicators that your grandchild is being neglected. You should also determine what steps you will take to ensure that the little one in your life doesn’t suffer from being in places where he shouldn’t be or any of the negativities that addiction induced neglect can cause.
Then you need to decide what you will do if and when you notice these things happening. It’s your choice how you choose to treat the situation, and everyone is different. Just keep in mind that taking a child away from their parent can be a truly devastating blow, so be careful how you encourage your adult addict to give you – or another family member – the child for a while.
Do you always have to take the child away?
Here’s a tough question: When you’re parenting an adult addict, the last thing you want to have to do is take her kids away. You want to be the grandparent, spend time and then send them home knowing that they are safe and taken care of. Understanding the process of addiction and how your grandchildren are being affected can help you to keep tabs on how things are going.
Keep in mind that many times, parents battle addiction for a long time and their kids are almost not affected at all. So sometimes, the best thing to do is keep an eye on how things are going. You may feel better if you form an unspoken agreement that if your grown addicted child feels like things are going to get crazy, he can bring you the kids and you won’t ask any questions.
Parenting an adult addict is pretty much not fun at all. When you bring grandchildren into the mix, you not only have to worry about your kid, but her kids too. Effectively coping with addiction requires us to take a good look at the reality of a situation, and have a plan for every contingency – and then be ready to act should you find you need to. It’s not fun, but it can give you a source of comfort through frustrating, emotionally draining times.