Dear Dr. Archer,
I am the grandmother of a 19 year old boy who has been bouncing from one friend to another for a place to stay for the past two years. His mother, my daughter, will not allow him to live in her house. My 12 year old granddaughter lives with her.
He has not held a job in over a year, but he has money to go to concerts, etc. He looks awful! None of us know what he is putting into his system, but when he was talking about it, it was pot, hallucinogenics and ecstasy. He has money, and he flaunts that to my daughter. He is now sick with pneumonia, and knowing he is on the street is horrible.
We are a large family who care about each other, but she has been told not to allow him in the house or give him money, which we haven't. What help or psychological suggestions can you give? Thank you so much, and God bless.
Tough love is just that -- it's tough. Very tough. Your daughter is doing the right thing, Mary, because her main priority is to protect her young daughter.
As a 19 year old young man, your grandson is capable of making his own decisions. If he chooses to continue a life of illegal drugs while rejecting help from the family, that is his choice and there isn’t much you can do about it.
However, Mary, there is nothing wrong with trying to convince your grandson to accept treatment and stop his drug use. So, if it hasn’t already been done, enlist a professional and perform an intervention. Make it clear that unless he stops using, the family will not be there for him, but if he enters treatment then you will will rally for him. Again, get a professional involved. Don’t do this on your own.
I suggest you read these letters, responses and comments. I'd also like you to read the success story, Tough Love Worked With My Son! This really can work, Mary, even though it can be heartbreaking. Just keep in mind, it's all up to him. I sincerely wish your entire family peace and success with this young man.