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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  20 years of experience as a Psychologist and Parenting Coach. Parent of 2 grown children.
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A friend has asked me for advice regarding his grandson, given

Customer Question

A friend has asked me for advice regarding his grandson, given the fact that I spent 35 years as an inner city high school teacher. As somebody who has dealt with very troubled adolescents, I certainly have some thoughts on the matter, but I'm not a therapist, and am troubled about sharing them. Briefly: His daughter-caucasian-married an African American; they divorced after several years, having had a son who is now 17. Initially, the boy had some contact with his father, but none in recent years. Several years ago his mother remarried to a caucasian, and the family relocated to a predominantly white environment. The son is now in a rhab facility, the latest in a long string of troubles. He has been held back in school, is verbally abusive to his mother, has a serious marijuana habit, has been the object of anger on the part of a family with whose daughter he lhad been having a sexual relationship. He has been to counseling-and been. At one time it seemed as though he had found a young male African american counselor with whom he could connect, but that came to nothing. He does not talk to his stepfather, who disapproves of his wife's handling of th situation- constant lies, spoiling him, i.e. allowing him to crack up her car and then buying him a new one, accepting his abuse, lack of consequences, etc. Her father says that it is affecting her marriageto the point where he fears that divorce is,a possibility; he wants her to take a much harder line, even involving police when necessary. He's right when he says that I've spent a great deal of time working with troubled kids. my successes have been intense and gratifying, but there have been more painful fa. Sad to say my considered reaction is to urge him to prerevail upon his daughter to save her marriage- am not optimistic about the possibilities of this young man, much as i understand love.

Your thoughts?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 7 years ago.


Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.


I am sorry to hear about the problems your friend is experiencing. I agree with you that to continue to enable this young man is doing no one any good. In order for there to be any hope of him deciding to make changes in his life he will have to face the consequences of his actions. If he is continually bailed out then there is no incentive for him to admit his problems, much less to do anything about them. His mother may have a difficult time in deciding to apply tough love, but this is the best thing, both for him, as well as for herself and for her marriage. It is important for the mother, as well as the other family members, to understand that we cannot change anyone but ourselves. The family may find this link for information about Narcotics Anonymous helpful:


I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.