Would this be enabling?

by Anonymous

After a lot of efforts to get compliance from my daughter who is an alcoholic (26 years-old) the court has given me kinship custody of my 4 month-old grandson.

This is a very complicated situation but essentially my daughter is asking to come and live with me in my small hometown, where she feels she will not drink. I have refused because:

1. I think she will get better counseling, etc in her large city.

2. I don't want to be her keeper (I just want to be her mom).

3. It feels like this would be a "rescue" from her consequences.

She is in a lousy situation but does have options and I think she needs to face her issues right where she is.

I see this as a terrific opportunity for her to work on herself completely, knowing her son (who has been almost exclusively in my care for the last 2 months anyway) is being lovingly cared for and she doesn't have to worry about him.

I will facilitate visits and Skype and all that. She is cranking up the pressure and I just need to know, that I am recognizing this for what it is and not ignoring a legitimate request for help.


Your daughter feels that leaving her negative environment will provide the answer to her drinking problem. Many people believe that moving away will work, but let me assure you that it is not. There is no geographical cure. If your daughter wants to drink, she will find it wherever she is.

If your daughter seriously wants help, she should get the help she needs before coming to stay with you. Tell her that she must go to AA meetings, get counseling, go into rehab and do whatever it takes so that she can be a capable mother for her son.

Tell her that you love her and that you understand her plight, but she has to prove to you and to herself that she is taking responsibility for her actions. If she does not agree, you must stand firm. If she moves in with you, she will disturb the household and the protective environment that the court has awarded your grandson.

Tell her that when she’s in control of her sobriety, you’ll reassess the situation. But until she stays sober, there is no option. She cannot move in with you.

All the very best,


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