I wish I knew where to start. My daughter has a big problem with drugs and I’ve had to pay off huge debts for her in the past because of her addiction.
She had another baby with her partner recently and they also have an older daughter who I have a great relationship with.
But I think they’re jealous of our closeness and they’re sending mixed messages to my granddaughter.
Recently, my daughter and her partner had a huge bust-up and I was called to their home. The new baby was asleep but my granddaughter was in bits.
I’ve helped my daughter and her partner to a great extent, but I get the cold shoulder when they make up. Her partner loves being in control and seems to enjoy it when there’s distance between my daughter and me.
I’ve now backed off with financial help – they just throw it back in my face.
It’s frustrating because my daughter didn’t see any arguments between her father and I when she was growing up. I’m sure that wasn’t the case for her partner – he’s copying what he’s learned.
I just want to give my grandchildren the love they deserve. Please help.
It sounds like you’re a wonderful grandmother and your grandchildren are lucky to have you.
This is a very tough situation – as we all know with addiction. There’s loads of help out there – support groups, online communities, as well as health and counselling services. But the person must be willing to accept that help.
Sadly, you can’t make your daughter get help, it’s something she has to do for herself. She can start by getting in touch with her local branch of Narcotics Anonymous (ukna.org, helpline 0300 999 1212).
There is also help and advice out there for people like you who have a family member who is struggling with addiction (see www.adfam.org.uk).
I think your daughter and her partner need waking up to the reality of having their kids taken into care – and they won’t necessarily be placed with you.
If you don’t get desperate enough to contact social services yourself, it will only take a neighbour to report screaming and drug use and that will launch an investigation.
You’ve done the right thing backing off with financial help – that’s just enabling your daughter’s habit. And as far as your grandkids are concerned, tell your daughter that you’re willing to carry on having them whenever she needs help or if she’s worried about an explosive situation at home.
And you might just have to accept that there will be times when you won’t see your grandchildren as much.
Your daughter and her partner are clearly bad for each other – again, you can tell her that, but she’s the only one who can do something about it.
But ask her to put her children first and reassure her that you’ll be there for her and the kids if she chooses to walk.
It’s very frustrating for you and although you can’t force her to get help, at least you know you’re not funding her addiction.
* More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems