Gransnet forums


Being a parent again

(48 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.

Farzanah Mon 06-Feb-23 21:26:02

Many men of my acquaintance don’t know how a washing machine works. Too complex eh? No modern girls will let their partners get away with that excuse….hopefully.

JaneJudge Mon 06-Feb-23 21:27:29

Oh they do sadand I blame their Fathers

Mamamay Mon 06-Feb-23 21:33:43

Thank you to everyone.
Your advice and comments are greatly appreciated.
Good to know that I’m not alone. It has sometimes felt a bit overwhelming and a bit isolated but it’s getting better.
Thanks again

Aldom Mon 06-Feb-23 21:58:32

Greenfinch I have so much admiration and respect for you. You and your husband are wonderful grandparents. flowers

Wyllow3 Mon 06-Feb-23 22:09:54

Well done you, and fortunate for him. Yes to boundaries but to have a place where he is loved and welcomed - can come to in times of need, more reliable - priceless.

NotSpaghetti Tue 07-Feb-23 07:50:22


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.

I was just thinking this myself.
He will probably have more skills than most 18 year old but will value "somewhere loving" to come home to when he wants to and the stability of you simply being there.
Don't expect him to live with you after university - just be there for him. Some people never go back "home" to live afterwards. I never did and neither did 2 of my 3 daughters. The sons were back-and forth much more.

Luckygirl3 Tue 07-Feb-23 08:19:36

On of the concerns about children who leave the care system (not your situation I know) is that they often do not have the ongoing secure support of a parent. You are providing this at an important time in his life ... just knowing you are there us valuable in itself. A vital role. Buckets of love and encouragement towards independence are what is needed. Well done!

Mamamay Tue 07-Feb-23 10:28:06

I am overwhelmed by all your kind words.
Our grandson has had such a difficult time and he has done so well academically, against all odds.
But he’s still very much a child. He said recently that he doesn’t feel like an adult yet. And there are so many gaps in his life skills that we are uncovering all the time and trying to help him learn how to do those simple things he’s missed.
All we do is love him and care for him and give him a safe home and it is no more than any child deserves.
It breaks my heart that his parents have taken their lives down a road from which it feels there is no way back and in the process, they have abandoned their boy.
I never in a million years would have thought we would be here.
It’s quite a lonely place but we have had love and support from friends. The authorities aren’t interested. In their eyes he’s an adult.
So it’s even more remarkable that a group of strangers here have taken time to message me with their kind words.
Thank you all

Shelflife Tue 07-Feb-23 10:41:06

Very pleased you are comforted by the lovely GN s . Your GS has made an assessment of himself, that is good. With the support of you and your husband he will aquire those life skills. I can well imagine how you must be feeling about his parents, you must be devastated. Your GS has had a traumatic time but he will ride the storm with you beside him . Please remember how strong you are,
and what amazing Grand parents you are !! 💐💐

Chocolatelovinggran Tue 07-Feb-23 14:02:01

Mamamay - just to add my applause to what you are doing. I am so sorry to hear of the decisions his parents made, but it seems he seems to have made better choices himself, and with your love and support will have a brighter better future than them. And, actually, I think that an eighteen year old is still a child - the part of the brain assessing risks isn't fully developed at that age. I wish you all the best.

Luckygirl3 Tue 07-Feb-23 14:54:04

By the way, although he is 18, the local social services do have responsibilities towards him if he is regarded as being a vulnerable adult.

But hopefully your care of him will put him outside that category.

Nopeaceincumbria Wed 05-Jul-23 19:45:53

My first ever post here. Me and my husband are currently looking after our 3 year old GD. Her mum was sent to prison in December for fraud, my son, her father , simply wasn't looking after her, we have since learned he has an alcohol and drug problem. She came to us in February, a traumatised little girl. It's exhausting and my anger and disappointment at being put in this situation overwhelm me most days. But the biggest emotion is sadness at this beautiful, funny little girl having her world turned upside down and being let down so badly by her parents. Release from prison is in one month but that could mean more uncertainty as my GD lives normally on the other side of the country. She is happily settled into nursery and has grown in confidence. I'm hoping that any return to mum will be slow and in her best interests. We don't mind how long it takes. I am my GD biggest advocate and fan so will do everything I can to ensure she has stability and safety. I have been looking for threads that could help with my situation and this is the closest I have been able to find.

welbeck Wed 05-Jul-23 20:25:53

what do social services say about plans for the child's future ?

keepcalmandcavachon Wed 05-Jul-23 20:37:37

Mamamay and Nopeaceincumbria , welcome I'm fairly new too. Some really good advice and support here on GN, hope all goes well for you and your families, do try to look after yourselves too and take any help offered, wishing you all the best x

MayBee70 Wed 05-Jul-23 20:45:37


^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.

My parents lived in a succession of rented and then council houses and flats. They were also very emotionally and physically fragile. I always envied people of my age that, even though they’d left home and were living independent lives, knew that there was a bolt hole that was always there for them to go back to. I think it gives you the foundation from which you can explore your new adult world.

silverlining48 Wed 05-Jul-23 20:47:16

There are grand parents who have their grandchildren living with them due to different circumstances, if you don’t get much response on this why not start your own thread where you will het feedback. Wish you well with your granddaughter. It’s hard work but will make all the difference to her. flowers

Iam64 Wed 05-Jul-23 20:56:33

welbeck, why would social services have a say?
This 18 year old voted with his feet, very wisely imo.

I agree with houseplantqueen, he may be legally of age but he’s young and needs parenting that’s appropriate for his age, needs and personality. He’s grown up with substance dependent parents, he knows he needs stability, that’s why he’s chosen to life with his grandparents]
Thanks mamamay for stepping up

Ali23 Wed 05-Jul-23 22:49:47

I think Wellbeck was replying to Nopeaceincumbria

Ali23 Wed 05-Jul-23 22:53:30

Nopeaceincumbria, it sounds as though you’ve made a big difference to you little granddaughter. I do hope that her mum is able to work with you to help her to make the move gradually.
Will she have a probation officer who will support her in this process?

Wishing you well... what an uncertain time for you all.

welbeck Wed 05-Jul-23 22:56:18


I think Wellbeck was replying to Nopeaceincumbria


Nopeaceincumbria Thu 06-Jul-23 08:02:14

It's complicated by the fact that mum is a resident of one county and also where GD lived, but GD is now in Cumbria with us . SS basically say there is nothing they can do until mum is released from prison. My HV hasn't been much help either. I asked for a Early help plan but was told its not appropriate right now as no help is required. It seems that there will only be action when actual risk is identified.

Nopeaceincumbria Thu 06-Jul-23 08:03:10

Yes, and an offender manager.