Son is verbally abusive. Do I give him another chance?



My grandson is becoming just as verbally abusive as my son because I have finally put my foot down and told my son he can’t live with us any more, am I wrong? My husband was working 2 jobs thinking my sons paychecks were paying his fines, nope right into his veins. My grandson is 7 and doesn’t understand. Should I give him another try since he has been in a long term rehab since September?


In this situation I think the person who matters most is your grandson. If he’s already picking up the habit of being verbally abusive at this young age, its not good for him to be around his dad (assuming your son is his dad). Your grandson deserves the healthiest home environment possible. Also, if your son has a job then he will have to make the choice to continue to use his paychecks for drugs or to put a roof over his head,

Its never easy. These decisions are gut-wrenching. You asked about another chance - have you you given him more than one chance already? What does your gut tell you to do? Keep us posted.


He is still in rehab and I think he is getting out in Jan or Feb. He lost his license, no job, no money, fines and debt that he and his soon to be ex racked up. He also has 2 other kids with his wife. My oldest grandson was from my sons previous relationship that he didn’t know she was pregnant until he was 4 days old.


Hopefully his time in rehab will make a difference. If he can “be nice” and follow your house rules you could give it a try.


“House rules” is a good idea! Maybe you can draw up house rule or ‘covenant’ with your son (when he’s out in Jan/Feb) so that everyone is agreed to being on the same page? I think @AnthonysMom mom is onto something though - what is your gut saying? What is going to be the best possible decision for your grandson(s)?


@Kristine thank you for sharing what you’re going through with us. We’re so happy you came to us and want to let you know we are here to help you with anything you need. :slight_smile:

This is a really difficult situation because you want to help your son and his struggle with substance use, but in doing so, other your grandson is becoming upset. In these situations, it feels sometimes like you just can’t win, even though all you’re trying to do is just help.

Your grandson is super young. He is probably very confused as to what’s going on, and it’s important that you are honest with him about the situation on a level that’s appropriate for his age without revealing too much information. Have you had a one-on-one conversation with him?

In terms of finding the right help for your son, I’m curious if you have spoken with your son to find out if he feels if the long-term rehab he’s been in has been helping him. Without keeping an open dialogue, it can be easy to separate and become distant, which can reinforce negative addictive behaviors. Although your son’s addiction is not your responsibility, it’s important to remember that in order to achieve anything, that we need to approach this with focus, understanding, and strategy. Remember, the opposite of addiction is connection <3


Having my son living with us nearly destroyed my second marriage and my health. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and put on some heavy duty medications that I am not able to drive. My son will have to continue treatment and since this occurred in Camden County everything is handled in rhe Camden drug court. You can drive him there he will go in 1 door and he goes out another door and wanders down the streets until he gets his fix.


Your input is extra valuable here @ashleykm3 because of your own experience with your dad’s addiction at a young age. Do you have any suggestions for ways to communicate with a young person about addiction so that it is understood appropriately?


I have only seen him once since rehab and he lies so much and will agree to anything to get out. His son has watched his dad shooting up, arrested, the police empting his pockets of drugs and syringes. Little by little this precious boy is telling us things that is killing me. His mom is in total denial because she likes her “me” time. When I would approach my son about how he and his wife treated him his answer was oh well, his wifes answer to me was I stopped loving him the day the twins were born. My grandson worships the ground his dad walks on and I want to tar and feather him.


@katie You have a good point! It’s really tough to address the concept of addiction or substance use to someone who hasn’t ever had any sort of conceptual or first-hand experience with it. It’s even tougher because we want to protect these younger people from the negative effects substance use can have. However, it’s extremely important to address a family member’s substance use in the right way towards a younger child in the family, as these behaviors can be genetically linked. Dialogue creates awareness, and awareness is the key to prevention. We don’t want our children ultimately suffering from the same thing their older relatives have been suffering from.

As a child, I found it really hard when my dad would try to communicate to me what was going on with his alcoholism. He would only really communicate the truth during big outbursts that occurred after frustrations and tension built up. And to this day, I firmly believe that if he communicated it better to me, the outbursts would have been much more infrequent. So the first step here is to not wait until things get bad to talk.

Second, listening must become your superpower . Sometimes the person struggling doesn’t want to be told what to do, or given advice; sometimes they just want to be heard . As much anger and frustration as you might have right now, turn that anger into empathy. It’s only through understanding that we can pave a path for recovery.

Although I was the child dealing with a parent who struggled with substance abuse, similar rules sort of apply to the parent of a child who struggles with substance use. Start with acknowledgment of the problem and validation. If your son gets frustrated, take a deep breath or step out for a walk. When you’re feeling ready, come back to the conversation. You are still the parent— that means that you can establish certain rules, like the house rules mentioned. The key here as the parent is to model a sense of control. Your son is dealing with an issue that removes his sense of internal control. If you remain calm, cool, and collected, that will be just the thing your son needs.


That sounds really, really hard @Kristine. I’m so sorry your family is going through this. Would talking to someone maybe help you? It sounds like you’re carrying a lot right now.

We offer a complimentary call with our Village Coach @erica. She might be a good resource or outlet for you to get some clarity here. If you click on ‘Specialist’ in the upper left hand corner, you can schedule a call or send a private message at your convenience.

Let me know what you think!