When our adult children keep making bad choices that affect their children.

My daughter is 23 and has two wonderful daughters ages (4 and 1) that are the most precious things in the world to me. My daughter has always had issues with emotional instability. As much as I tried to help her when she was young, nothing I tried to do to help her seemed to have much positive impact on her emotions. When she was younger, and lived with me, I took her to counseling and there were a few medications that she was put on to see if it helped. It really didn’t, though.

I have tried taking her and the girls in to help them. I currently live in Florida and she lives in Missouri. My best friend and myself made an emergency trip up to get her before she had her second daughter because the baby’s father had a drug problem and could be unpredictable and even abusive at times. We brought them to Florida, where she had the baby, and I helped get everything set up so she could go to school including financial aid and childcare that we were paying for.

She ended up leaving before she started school and taking the girls back to Missouri probably mostly because of a man she was “in love” with (who already had a girlfriend). My daughter ended up getting pregnant and having a miscarriage.

Immediately after that she got together with her most recent boyfriend. He was by far the nicest, kindest, most helpful person she had ever dated and I used to be neighbors with his mother so I’ve actually known his family for a while and him since he was 10 or so. Due to an accident a few years ago he has a head injury that causes seizures. He uses marijuana to help with his seizures. Medicines that can be prescribed for him are not helpful and don’t decrease his seizure activity or so I am told.

So a week ago they were pulled over with the youngest in the car and marijuana was found. There’s an open DFS case. There could be criminal charges for her. Her boyfriend took full responsibility for the drugs found, but I don’t know how much difference that makes.

Basically all of that falls under the C line, I believe. I could potentially go up there and try to get guardianship of the kids, but then I don’t know how much the 4 year old’s father will cooperate. I’m not sure if the outcome would be worth the effort and expense and I also don’t want to be an enable her. I am not really set up to raise two babies either.

T: trying to change “we don’t know what will happen and it could be catastrophic and have horrible, life-altering outcomes” to “this is a learning experience for my daughter and the children are safe and loved and taken care of”. I do believe they are, but the unknowns of the outcomes of this are driving me a little batty. The girls are currently with a long time friend and babysitter that lives in the same town as my daughter.

F: Working on feeling peace as though I will know when the best time is to take action. My feelings go back and forth from fear, dread, anxiety, to a peaceful sense that it will end up ok.

A: Action will be scattered and ineffective if my thinking is very negative but the A line looks a lot better when I have my thoughts right.

R: If I constrain my thinking to what I think is productive, the results will be as good as possible or at least my contribution to the results will be.

Can you give me any thoughts to work with as far as how to love and support my daughter without sheltering her from the life lesson involved? I want her to go through this process and feel the consequences of her behavior, but I want to do it without causing unnecessary trauma to the children.

Thanks so much,