Hi, I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger and welcome to our YouTube Channel. I get to answer your questions and this one's from Melody:
"My daughter and her 8-year-old just came to stay with my husband and me, as her addict husband is going through outpatient rehab and she felt unsafe in their home. [I love when people choose wisely who they marry.] This is not the first time she has left during their 9 year marriage. His entire family has some form of addiction. She thinks if he stays off drugs she can go back home as she hates the thought of her daughter growing up in a broken home. I believe the atmosphere of their home is very destructive to my poor granddaughter.
I tried to explain to my daughter that even with the drugs gone, he has serious character defects. She said he is working on changing those (in his 28 day rehab program!). [Yeah right.] I am very concerned and though I hate divorce, I do not think that she should try yet again. I am encouraging her to get some help. She has agreed to stay with us for 90 days. He's acting very sweet to her now. I told her the true test will be when he goes back to work and is faced with the routine stress of life again. This is the third time in the last 5 years that she has had to come to stay with us.
My husband said we have to prepare ourselves should she return to him. He said we can't keep doing this as it is terribly draining on us. I'm torn over what I should do."
I don't know exactly what's going on in that house - if there's any violence or if your grandchild can talk to you about what's going on, but at some point you're going to have to call the Police and Child Protective Services when you have some clarity, some proof, some information about what's going on in that house that are impacting her - if the drugs are in the house, whatever it is, if there's violence, if there's a lot of yelling and screaming. It depends where you are in this country but, for example, in Los Angeles a lot of yelling and screaming and violence between the parents is considered child abuse, so this is where...and I know Child Protective Services is overwhelmed and I don't understand why people are so cruel to their children but at some point you may want to do that or might want to go to court for custody.
I'm telling you this because we can't leave this up to your daughter. She's probably going to go back again and again and again until something horrific happens because that's who she is; she has her character defect. The child is innocent in the middle of this. What you need to do is go to another authority figure and that's where the Police, Child Protective Services and the courts to try to get custody away from her/from them as "unfit."
So let's wait until he's out of rehab, relapses again, this whole thing starts all over again and you can demonstrate: rehab just keeps happening, nothing changes and you want to protect this child. I know that hurts your feelings as a mother towards your daughter, but your daughter's a bit of a lost cause and now we have to work on the grandchild. That's the innocent party - not your daughter. She has decision-making power - this child doesn't. Get that child an attorney. There are things you can do legally.
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Until next time, right here on our YouTube channel.