Explaining an alcoholic grandparent to children
by Mary Jo
My husband’s mother is an alcoholic. The family has tried several different interventions throughout the years… nothing has worked with any sustainable success.
My husband and I have always set very clear parameters with his parents about what we will expose our children to and what we won’t. At this point, we have not addressed the alcoholism with our children.
We have 6 kids ages 13-1. This set of grandparents are the “fun”ones, who take them boating, on vacations (when allowed), and buy them enormous gifts at Christmas and birthdays. They kinda try to “buy” our kids love to an extent.
Our children have frequently asked throughout the years to do more with my husbands parents, but we just seem to always have a reason why it doesn’t work out. We are present with our children whenever my husband’s mother is around. (So no overnights, etc…)
As my husband’s mother gets older, she becomes more selfish and self centered. Currently she does not want to visit with my children at her house because of the commotion that 6 children bring. Before, my husband and I set the limits on the relationship.
We are thinking that it is time to explain to the older three children about having and alcoholic grandmother and how that has effected our relationships in the past and will continue to effect our relationships in the future.
We feel like truth is the best policy, however, we do not want to jeopardize what little relationship they have now.
I am writing asking advice regarding this situation, how/if to tell the children, what resources you recommend, emotional and social concerns regarding the family with this new information, etc…