We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Friday, March 21, 2014


If any of you reading this are grandparents raising grandchildren due to your child's addiction; do any of you worry that addiction might be in their future? If so, are you doing anything to prepare them to avoid this "first" choice?                                                                                                             

With 10 year-old Brady being the child of two addicts, I talk to him honestly about his propensity. Yes, addiction sometimes skips a generation, but what if it doesn't? Then it's like Russian roulette and it's better if he chooses not to play. I talk to him about his future peers. I let him know when they become hormonal (I have to explain what hormonal means), they go crazy and want to experiment with anything they can get their hands on, and what they might say to him to coerce him. They'll try to convince him how much fun it is -alcohol and drugs make you feel good. Then I explain that his birth mom felt that way but it immediately took hold of her brain and changed it. He often exclaims; "Why would anyone want to do drugs and do that to their brain?" I say it's because kids think nothing will ever happen to them -they're omnipotent. But no one is, especially if the addictive gene is in your body and you wake it up. It's better to say no in the first place and not take the chance. 

I don't want to harp on this and put that kind of energy out there but want him to have the knowledge and be prepared. What about any of you?


  1. Yes we are constantly talking to our grandchildren about addiction. They two have two addicted parents...as well as three grandparents who suffered from either drugs or alcohol addiction. My grandson sees a therapist as he was older and more aware. It is so scary. It will be one step at a time for both of them. We can only pray for them all.

  2. Amen! It's very scary but I try to reinforce the idea that "you attract what you fear" so that I don't. Brady also saw a therapist until he was 5-1/2 but he was discharged because he was doing well. On occasion I take him back just to make sure he's continuing in that direction plus he loves seeing her. It's becoming an adolescent that's frightening in and of itself without adding the issues our kids have. Blessings!

  3. As a grandmother raising four grandchildren due to addiction, three of whom are going through the transition of being reunited with their mother after 3 years with me, I have experienced "GrandMothering" from many different perspectives. I strongly advocate speaking as honestly as the child's age will allow about addiction and prevention. I feel when a child can understand sooner rather than later their parent was ill with addiction, the more likely the child will understand the parent's absence from their life was through no fault of the child. I have always tried to instill in my grandchildren the knowledge that they were truly loved by their parents but addiction made it impossible for their parents to care for them properly. I also share with them that the first time, it is a choice to use. Once addicted, it becomes a necessity to use. I believe the decision to not ever use may be the most important decision of their life.