The situation and people I describe here are based on real people and real-life events. Try to put yourself in this women’s shoes, and let me know what you’d do if you were faced with the same circumstances.
Let’s say you’ve rarely seen your grandson, who is now 7.
He lives in another state, shuttling between his father, your son, and his mother, who are separated. Unfortunately, your daughter in law is not a productive member of society. She’s an alcoholic and on welfare. You detest her for how she’s ruined her life, and how she’s ruining her little boy’s life.
Your son, who had problems of his own for years, is now back on track; he has a good job and returned to college. But, he cannot yet give your grandson the attention he needs, and deserves, what with the demands of his work and studying.
Your grandson is a mess. He only eats fast foods, refusing to even taste fruits or vegetables. His table manners are non existent. His personal hygiene isn’t so hot. He hasn’t learned how to socialize well with other children his age. And, he’s angry. At 7! For good reason.
Your other son, who lives near you and is single and successful, invited your grandson (his nephew) to come and stay with him for six weeks this summer. He wanted to take the child “under his wings” and give him some stability. He took him to his first movie, put him in day camp, bought him new clothes, taught him how to try new (and healthy foods) and gave him lots and lots of love and understanding.
Now, this son would like your grandson to remain with him throughout the upcoming school year, rather than return to his fractured family life back home. The boy loves being with his uncle, and experiencing wonderful new situations, and people. He’s gets happier and happier every day.
You believe this son is making a big, big mistake. He’s worked long and hard to become independent and successful, and you think he should enjoy the lifestyle he’s created, rather than become a substitute father for your 7-year-old grandson. Your other son and his wife made their bed, and now they should lay in it. (Pardon the hackneyed adage.)
You know you probably should support your son for wanting to do such a noble thing for your grandson, but you simply can’t. What’s more, you can’t promise him that you’ll consistently help out by babysitting and taking your grandson for the weekends, because the kid is such a handful. Controlling him takes more energy than you have at this stage in your life.
You told your son precisely how you feel, which seemed to trouble him. He’s said he still plans to go ahead and talk to his brother about having his nephew move in with him.
Please tell me below what you’d do if you were in a situation similar to this woman’s.