#72 Why do children dump their children on grandparents? / Am I raising my grandchildren to be irresponsible and abusive?
Dear Annie: My husband and I are raising our grandchildren. We enjoy doing it, but we know we aren't the only grandparents who have ended up taking care of our children's children. What has happened to today's young parents? They want children, but apparently not the lifelong commitment, so they dump their children on their parents. How did we raise them to be so selfish?
Having children is expensive and nerve-wracking, but it also has many rewards and joys. Children are not new toys that can be ignored because you are tired or don't feel like taking care of them. If young adults are not prepared for this kind of life-altering event they should keep their legs crossed and their pants zipped. Or consider giving these little ones up for adoption to families who will cherish them and take the time to raise them properly. —Grandma in Texas
Dear Grandma: There is no greater responsibility than raising a child, and many new parents are unprepared for the amount of nonstop effort involved. Thank heavens there are grandparents like you who are willing to step in and do the hard work. —Annie
For a list of support groups, contact AARP Grandparent Information Center (aarp.org), 601 E. St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20049; or call (888) 687-2277.
Hi Grandma: In communication-skills coaching, your question, "How did we raise them to be so selfish?" is what's referred to as a blame statement—it's also rhetorical—there's no intention to know the truth. Your post is self-righteous lecturing written from a position of victim. Your misdirected advice is the way your mind avoids the truth of your cause in the matter.
Notice that you unconsciously dumped partial responsibility for the results you produced on your husband with your use of the word "we?" A person clear about responsibility, one intent on knowing, would have asked, "What did I do to raise my child to be so selfish?" and, "What can I do to make sure I don't repeat the training program with my grandchildren?"
As it is, your leadership-communication skills trained your child to irresponsibly dump his/her children in your lap, and now you blame him/her for the results you produced.
Notice I write, "you," not, you and your husband. In this matter you are the leader. You are a un-enabler. You have trained your child to be irresponsible, inconsiderate, and abusive. You would do well to commit to 25 sessions of therapy or counseling—until you do, everyone around you will keep producing the same undesirable results. Daily your child compounds the consequences of his/her abuse of you and your husband. It could be said that you have set up your child to support you in healing. Many grandparents will get value from your letter. —With aloha, Gabby
Last edited 12/3/17