Raising Grandchildren When Your Child Is Addicted
Could there be something greater than winning a million dollars?
What about the likelihood of finding something better than a treasure chest full of gold under your house?
Would it be possible to think of anything greater than being granted endless health forever?
Some people may say no. But a certain group of people would say absolutely, yes!
They would say that there is something better than riches, health, and anything else you could think of combined.
But who would say such a thing? Grandparents. The grandmother or grandfather would tell you that having a grandbaby is better than all of that and more.
And sometimes, these grandparents have the opportunity not only to love their grandchildren but to raise them as well. However, this is typically the case in less than favorable circumstances. Raising the grandbaby no doubt is a wonderful experience, but typically this happens then the grandparent’s child (the grandbaby’s parent) passes on before his or her time.
The also happens when the parent is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Often times, the parents cannot raise the baby in these conditions, and the grandparents must step in to help.
Even though this is a great experience, to raise one’s own grandchildren, it is not without its challenges.
So, if you’re raising your grandchildren because your child is struggling with addiction, what can you do for strength, hope, and encouragement? There are two things that may be beneficial in this situation.
Let’s look at each of them together.
1. Be a Conduit, Not a Reservoir
A reservoir stores up water. It fills up then empties out. Maybe you’re drained by the situation with your child and the demands of raising your grandchild, so you’re looking for ways to fill yourself up again.
What if we changed perspectives? Instead of filling up then emptying out like a reservoir, what if we approached it like a conduit? Conduits are open channels through with other things flow. They don’t fill, nor do they empty. They simply stay open for one thing to flow through them from its current location to the next.
Your child and grandchild both need grace. They need love. And they need help. But you’ve emptied yourself.
It’s time to become a conduit of God’s love. Let God love them through you. Let them see His grace through you. Be a vessel for God’s love. Not one His love flows into then out of. But one in which His love flows through at all times.
2. Rely on What You Have – Experience
This is not your first walk in the park. You’re not a new parent since you already raised your children. You have something new parents don’t have – experience.
It’s possible to feel like you didn’t do a good job parenting since your child is now not able to raise your grandchildren. But your child’s addiction is just one aspect of him or her as a person. There are so many additional things, qualities and characteristics, that make your child who he or she is.
And many of those great qualities are inside of your child because you put them there. That means, you can do it again. Take what you’ve learned before – your experience – and use it to be the best grandparent ever.
You are prepared for this. God promised that “Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
That means that by being a conduit of God’s grace through you, and relying on the experience He already gave you, you can successfully raise your grandchildren.