My daughter in law is an alcoholic. They have 2 young kids that are 7 and 9 and they come home from school half the time to see her passed out on the couch from the wine she opened with lunch. My son does not want my help because he is actually scared of losing her and he says she is trying. She wont even talk to me any more after I told her to get help and I told her she was being a neglectful mother. I should not have said this but I was emotional. Everyone seems to want to let things go on just as if this was normal or O.K.. It is not fair to the kids to have their mom drunk when she is supposed to be taking care of them. The 9 year old is the classic perfectionist miniature adult because she has to take care of her mother and she is very anxious. She does not act like a child and she is so serious. What can I do to help her since her parents want to sweep the problem under the rug? I get to see them once a week when they stay over with me once a week on Saturday nights so the parents can have a break which actually means go out and party.
It is a difficult situation. First, consider going to Alanon to get some support and feedback for yourself. Next ask your son if he wants any help or advice from you. If he says no, let him know that you are just expressing your concern.You can confront your son to ask him what does he think it is like for the kids. What does trying mean? Is there a time table to agree that trying did not work? Ultimately it is their decision as long as you do not think the children are being dangerously neglected. If you think they are, you have a few choices. If you can, offer to care for the children more often. If you can not you will be faced with the difficult choice of calling the authorities and dealing with their anger and threats.