Gransnet forums


Being a parent again

(47 Posts)
Mamamay Mon 06-Feb-23 12:06:09

I’m new here. Just joined
I’m a grandparent who is now a parent again as we’ve taken on the care of our grandson. He’s 18 and at uni but still very much needs us.
His parents have addiction problems which have made all our lives hellish and caused our grandson to choose living with us as soon as he turned 18.
Just wondering if others have experience of being a parent again and how they’ve managed.
Finding it challenging although wouldn’t have it any other way.
Except of course that we’d love his parents to he well enough to be parents again.
All advice gratefully received.

NotSpaghetti Mon 06-Feb-23 12:26:40

How nice that he wants to be with you at 18!
You must already be doing something right! flowers

GrammyGrammy Mon 06-Feb-23 12:33:39

At 18 he is a man so being a safety net and providing consistent support and home is ideal. It is too late to treat him as a child or try to control him. Very hard for you- yes I did it once, long ago.

Hithere Mon 06-Feb-23 13:40:29

My comment disappeared

It is on the same line as grammygrammy

What parenting do you think he needs?
He is 18 and legally and adult

HousePlantQueen Mon 06-Feb-23 13:45:36

What parenting do you think he needs?
He is 18 and legally and adult

that's as maybe, in the eyes of the law, but this young man needs security, safety, reliability and is fortunate to have found this with his grandparents. He needs to know there is somewhere he can go for food, love and normality, somewhere he doesn't come a very poor second to drugs.

silverlining48 Mon 06-Feb-23 14:09:52

Welcome Mamamay. There are grandparents on here who look after their grandchildren. Your grandson is at university and may be legally an adult but as we all know that doesn't mean maturity and we all need love and security, especially when so young. Hope it all works out.

sodapop Mon 06-Feb-23 14:46:18


^What parenting do you think he needs^?
He is 18 and legally and adult

that's as maybe, in the eyes of the law, but this young man needs security, safety, reliability and is fortunate to have found this with his grandparents. He needs to know there is somewhere he can go for food, love and normality, somewhere he doesn't come a very poor second to drugs.

Absolutely agree with your post HousePlantQueen
Your grandson needs your love & support Mamamay Well done for stepping into the breach

GagaJo Mon 06-Feb-23 14:55:00

My DGS and DD live with me. I'd love to have DGS back (if they ever leave) at 18. He'll always be Gaga's boy.

crazyH Mon 06-Feb-23 15:07:26

You must be a very special Grandma. My 17 year old granddaughter stayed with me for 1 night when she had a little tiff with her mum (my daughter) 😂- ofcourse, they have spent many days and nights with me when they were little.

Farzanah Mon 06-Feb-23 15:09:12

I think you are to be admired for giving your grandson security and a caring home to return to when he needs, and all the more so if his a childhood has been disruptive.

I know I would have loved to have had caring and supportive parents/grandparents when I was that age. He may be 18 but he still has a need for love, care and guidance and someone to be there with a listening ear when he needs. That’s all you really can do at this age. Good luck.

Hithere Mon 06-Feb-23 15:09:50

What I meant to say is parenting changes with age - a toddler doesn't have the same needs as a teenager or a college student, it was not a slight to the value of grandparents

That is why I brought up what gc has asked for

Greenfinch Mon 06-Feb-23 15:29:58

We look after our twin grandchildren who are 15 and it is very challenging trying to be both grandparents and take on the role of parents as well especially as I find I am much more anxious and less laid back than the first time around. I just find I need to give them security and be there for them when they need it . I need to know where they are at all times( much easier now in the age of mobile phones) and for the one who cycles to school I need to know that he has arrived and when he is setting off for home. They need help choosing what subjects to study and with future career plans. At home they need to join us for meals and bring their mobiles downstairs when they go to bed( some resistance here!)Yours at 18 will not need all these rules but he will need support when choosing a career. My advice would be just to return the love he obviously has for you as he has chosen to live with you but I am sure you do that already and just continue to be the constant in his life. Good luck for there is nothing more rewarding.

Shelflife Mon 06-Feb-23 15:49:14

Yes , he is a man at 18, but I believe most young men of that age need security. It will be a difficult balance between not treating him as a child
( Which he isn't) and respecting him as an adult ( Which he is) . At this time he needs your love and the security that brings. You say he has chosen to live with you , that is evidence of your love . The plan is for him to live with you after graduation, that is some time away and things may change. If not he knows where his home is - how good is that for him ! I applaud your decision. I suspect he has had a tough time in the past so what you are doing is wonderful. Gooduck.

VioletSky Mon 06-Feb-23 16:03:43

I think it is very important to remember this is an adult too.

He lives at your home so you will need to set boundaries you are comfortable with while respecting he will need his own freedom and the opportunity to make his own decisions

You should view that role as a supportive grandparent, not as a parent

Hithere Mon 06-Feb-23 16:24:37

VS nailed it

He needs a support system, OP is part of it

pascal30 Mon 06-Feb-23 16:25:53

He probably needs a secure base even more now he has all the challenges of University. It will certainly help him knowing you are there and that he still has unconditional love in his life.

Cabbie21 Mon 06-Feb-23 17:26:39

I have two 18 year old grandchildren, both still in school and living at home and they both need a lot of support, guidance and sometimes, restrictions. They are fortunate to have loving parents.
I applaud you, OP, for taking him in. Best wishes.

62Granny Mon 06-Feb-23 17:48:16

I haven't any experience of this myself but would probably be led by what your grandson wants , discuss with him how much input he wants and needs from you, then see if this meets your expectations of what you feel able to give. Don't be afraid of talking things through be open and try and reach an agreement that suits you both. I would probably think he is quite independent , because of the previous home situation ,you can be that safe haven with a clean bed and some home cooking during the holiday time, but teach him the basics that he needs to become an independent adult in the future. I find the bond between grandparent and child in situations like this can be really strong.

JaneJudge Mon 06-Feb-23 17:56:32

I agree with HousePlantQueen and VioletSky smile he needs a bit of both.

Mine are a bit older but I make them text me if they are going to stay out all night so I don;t worry and have rules about being quiet as possible if coming in late/staying up

I'm glad he has you x

M0nica Mon 06-Feb-23 17:58:35

He just needs to know that you are always there for him aand your home is the home he can always come back to.

V3ra Mon 06-Feb-23 18:11:33

While he's living with you, you could usefully teach him some life skills e.g. managing his own laundry, basic cooking, managing his finances.
I'd also add understanding utility meters and bills.

"Adulting," in other words.

I did this with my son before he went away to university and it certainly helped him become independent.

Hithere Mon 06-Feb-23 19:12:52

A 18 year old cannot do his own laundry?

Hithere Mon 06-Feb-23 19:14:06

Sorry, I meant doesn't know how to do his own laundry?

Let him ruin a load and the learning curve will be very short

welbeck Mon 06-Feb-23 20:32:32

i doubt anyone's been reliably doing his laundry for him, if both his parents are drug addicts.
he may have long ago learnt survival tactics.
what he needs is some boring normality.

JaneJudge Mon 06-Feb-23 20:44:47

One of my sons who went to uni, is now in his 20s was shocked how many of his housemates lacked any kind of skills at all, including knowing how to wash up and they presumably came from a variety of backgrounds