anonymous Asks ...
Unfortunately both my daughter and her husband are alcoholics. They have a beautiful 8 year old son. They do the best they can but they are almost always drunk or drinking or hungover so they just aren't doing a very good job in my opinion and it is not good for him to see his parents passed out on the couch or acting crazy. I want to help him so he can understand what is happening around him and so that he can understand that none of it is his fault but I just don't think I am finding a way to get this through to him. My daughter denies that either she or her husband are alcoholics so she does not agree wit me that he needs protecting and the subject is obviously very touchy. What can I do to protect my grandson from the worst of it since there is nothing I can do to prevent him seeing way too much.
Anna Deeds Says ...
Bless you for reaching out and trying your best to protect your grandson. It is unfortunate that he is growing up in an alcoholic environment. He is at higher risk of becoming an alcoholic by growing up with alcoholic parents. My suggestion is to start going to Al-Anon meetings. Al-Anon is a support group for the family and friends of alcoholics. You can find good support in Al-Anon meetings. There will be people there who are going through the same or similar situations. They will understand and be able to guide you in helping your grandson.
You have to realize that you cannot change your daughter and her husband's behavior. They will only change if they want to change. What you can do is support your grandson, find support for yourself and not enable them to continue drinking. Enabling is when family and friends do things to make it easier for an alcoholic to continue drinking. Many family members mean well and think they are helping by enabling but it only makes it easier for the alcoholism to continue. Enabling is when you do things like pay bills, clean up after, get them out of trouble, take the blame or any other behavior when you take responsibility for their behavior.
I would also suggest that you take your grandson to counseling if that it is possible. I understand that you are trying to help him without creating more trouble for him or yourself. Alcoholics can be very defensive about their behavior.
You can take stronger action if you believe your grandson is being harmed by their alcoholism. I think any child is psychologically harmed if they are seeing their parents constantly drunk, passed out or "acting crazy." You can contact your local Children and Youth Services if you believe he is being neglected or abused due to their alcoholism. I know that you may fear this may cause more problems than it solves. Many people think that Children and Youth Services break up families or will immediately take the child from the home. However, the purpose of Children and Youth Services is to keep families together. They would work with the family to get help for their problems and only remove the child if they refused to get help. This could be a wake-up call for them and they could learn how their behavior if affecting their son.
Whatever you chose to do, I wish you luck and hope you find support for yourself and your grandson.