General Question

Aster's avatar

Should grandparents rescue teen grandkids from dreadful homes?

Asked by Aster (19994points) July 10th, 2012

Say you and your SO are happily retired and your teenage grandson is from a dreadful homelife where his mother is into cocaine abuse, has alcoholics moving in and out , won’t work and the “home” has mice and clothing everywhere. Would you take that angry, traumatized grandson into your home and raise him to eighteen?

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15 Answers

Mr_Paradox's avatar

Yes, I would sue for custody. He is in a home where he is in danger constantly and is probably being mistreated. He is going to think that this behavior is ok and repeat it in the future.

jca's avatar

Yes, I wouldn’t hesitate.

laurenkem's avatar

Well, the loving, caring part of me would shout an emphatic “yes” to that question. The more realistic part of me would be curious as to what this grandson’s behavior is going to be like as a result of his upbringing. In other words, is it more than Grandma and Grandpa can handle? Or is the grandson a fairly well-behaved young man?

If he’s already drinking and/or using drugs, sneaking out, acting badly in general, etc. (that kind of angry), I don’t know if I would be capable of taking that on at a certain stage in life.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, I would.

Coloma's avatar

I’m with @laurenkem

I would do what I was able but would not risk my health, safety or emotional peace if the boy was seriously troubled and acting out. There is no heroism in being a martyr, and one must protect themselves. Help, love and support is one thing, codependency is entirely another.

Pandora's avatar

Yes, but I would’ve done it way before the teen years. As a teen the damage is already done, unless the teen somehow is a way different from its parents. There are times when kids are nothing like their parent.
I would’ve reported the abuse when the child was younger to CPS. They would’ve taken the child away and then I would’ve fought for custody.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have had my grandkids living with me off and on ever since they were born. Their parents have had economic issues from time to time over the years. It works best when it is voluntary.

If you do take him in, I strongly advise you visit a family counselor regularly. He will need a lot of supervision, and should not be left alone or allowed to roam the mall alone. I have always gone places with my teens and very seldom left them alone.

I might be a good idea to take him lots of fun places, such as amusement parks, water parks and hiking or bicycling. Find out what he likes and try to help him with that.

augustlan's avatar

Possibly. If I didn’t feel capable of handling him, I would at least call CPS and alert them that he’s in a dangerous environment.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The SO and I are not parents or grandparents. We did have a discussion about taking in one of his young nephews who was miserable in his home environment and living in another country. Despite our lack of parental experience, we were both willing to offer him our home as his and make the personal commitment of doing our best to provide a healthy environment.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Like what @laurenkem wrote, it really depends on what the grandparents can handle and offer.

My husband’s father who had previously been all for taking in my oldest stepkid so she could go to school out of state, he changed his mind once he learned of her bipolar diagnosis and some of her recent troubles. At first there was a lot of upset but at least he knows what he can and cannot handle instead of “hoping for the best” and then being overwhelmed.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would like to add, I have almost never lived alone, so I am very used to sharing my space. I was also an emergency Foster Care provider for several years and I got all kinds of kids.

I originally joined because I wanted babies, but they found out I was good with teens, so that’s all I ever got. I estimate that I fostered over 100 teens and many of them were brought to me because their parents had been arrested and they needed a temporary home until the courts could place them.

Earthgirl's avatar

@YARNLADY I have the greatest respect for you for having done that.
It is truly a labor of love. I think each person has to judge what they are capable of and go into it with eyes wide open. It is admirable to try to save a child in danger but it is a huge task to undertake. Not only that, it may last for beyond the age of 18. Much depends on how badly that child has already been damaged. Could you abandon them before they were ready to take flight on their own? I doubt it. Not if you cared enough to take them in to begin with.

filmfann's avatar

We grandparents are a remarkable generation. We fucked up raising our kids, so that they are irresponsible addicts, and we end up raising their kids because they can’t or won’t.
Are we going to make the same mistakes we made with their parents? Who will raise their kids?

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YARNLADY's avatar

Parents of irresponsible adults cannot be held responsible for the choices their adult children make. Being the parent of a drug addicted adult does not mean the parent made a mistake. The adult child is the only one who makes his/her choices.

My grandchildren have chosen to live with me because their mother was unable to support them, through no fault of her own, and and their father abandoned them. I am so thankful that drugs have never been an issue in my family.

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