My mother is in a bad place, how do I help my son understand that?

My mom attempted to over dose on Xanax yesterday. I called for an ambulance and when she was finally coherent enough to text me after she got home from the E.R, she went off. I’m no longer welcome at my mothers house because “snitches” aren’t welcome. My issue is, she’s been actively in my sons life for his whole 7 years of existence. I know it’s gonna shatter his heart that I won’t allow him over there after all of this. What do I do? How do I comfort him? What do I tell him? So far all I’ve said to him is his nonna is sick and that’s why he can’t go but I know that excuse is only gonna last so long. Please help. Thanks
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I’m so sorry! Just try and do things to keep him occupied. If he asks, just tell him we can’t go over there right now. Honestly it sounds like a good decision based off how she responded to you helping her.

Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My mother is in a bad place, how do I help my son understand that? - Mamas Uncut

I would tell him that grandma is sick and until she gets better no one can go to her house ect. It’s not a lie and it’s easier for a young child to understand. I’m so sorry that you are going through this by the way. It’s awful.

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You should give it some time. She’s angry now but hopefully she will seek help and understand

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Explain to him that she has a disease that she needs to get control over and at this time she is not making rational decisions

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Unfortunately I’ve kinda been in the same situation! My mother has been addicted to pills before I was even born I’m 31 now with 3 kids of my own! She was in and out of prison when I was little! We’ve had a in and our relationship as well! My oldest met her a couple times. My younger two did not. Unfortunately her addiction took her life recently! It has been the hardest thing I’ve been through! Please just honest with him! He doesn’t have to know everything but let me know she isn’t making the right choices and for his safety you have to do what’s best for him!

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As long as she’s in active addiction or suicidal she is sick. You’re not lying. Your responsibility is to protect your son, not have him like it or you. Having him in an unstable environment is not doing him any favors or preserving the relationship and better memories with his grandmother. This is tough, but you’re doing the right thing instilling boundaries.

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Why would you let him over there when someone is actively using Xanax? You have to notice she’s bearly there, people who use Xanax and call people “snitches” are generally abusing it and dangerous to be around kids because although they are somewhat functioning they have no reaction and are on autopilot. I’d cut that out of your sons life regardless of what she said… she’s obviously not in the right state of mind.

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Shes embarrassed. I would try to explain it to her simply before him. Mum you’re my mum I couldn’t imagine yiu not being here if u think I’m a snitch that’s OK until your ready to see me I will respect yout wishes love you … explain to yiur son nonna is sick and she needs sometime to get better as soon as she’s well again we will be around…I went through the same with my son and my dad

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He’s 7 just be honest

Is she an addict or is this a case of mental illness and a suicide attempt? Both require professional treatment and compassion from you however your boundaries may be different depending on which situation you are facing. Addiction may require a more hardline approach with no contact until she receives treatment where as mental health issues could allow supervised visits while she is undergoing some therapy and counseling. If it’s addiction look into Nar-anon for family support until she’s ready to get treatment. They will help you determine your bottom lines. I’m going to assume since she was released within such a short period of time it is an addiction issue and you should absolutely not allow your child around someone who is actively using. You’re explaining this in the best way you can at this time but Nar-anon or Al-anon may help you to be able to better explain addiction to your child. Best wishes to you and your family.

Ok. I am a recovering addict. 3 years clean. When I got arrested and got sentenced to drug court I got court ordered to rehab. My mom had my son while I was gone for a year. She told him that I was sick and I needed to leave to get better and when I got better I would be back. I now have my son and he is so resilient that he remembers but never brings it up he is just happy he got his mom back. He was 4 when I left. Now I never tried to overdose and I wanted to get clean so her purposely trying to die is a lot different. Just talk to your baby about it tell him that she is sick right now. I wish you the best of luck and hope your mother gets the help that she needs.

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Is she sick with depression/mental health issues or is she physically sick and trying to end her terminal suffering?

I hope your mother can/will get the help she needs. I might consider a couple of counseling sessions with a provider that works with children and situations such as what you and your son are experiencing with your mom. Best wishes for a positive outcome for all of you!

She just needs time to heal. Give her some space. People say bad things when they are angry. Prayers

Text your mother & tell her you are glad she’s still alive to cuss you out, & that you love her, & that your son would very much like to video call her & remain in her life.

REMIND HER DAILY. It’s ok. She’s your mom. She needs to feel that love & make that connection again so maybe she won’t try to take her life again.

But hon, brace yourself, because those who don’t talk about it, & just attempt suicide, they are the ones we are usually very serious about it. & There may be multiple more attempts.

Praying for each of you :heart:

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If my child saw her it would be supervised for a WHILE. I’d be honest and tell him that she is sick. She is.

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If this just happened yesterday, emotions are still heavily involved. Give it some time and try to take it day by day. I know that’s easier said than done. Hugs to you all! Good luck!

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Tell your mom you don’t care about ur relationship with her but u care most about ur son and her relationship and how she means the world to him and how he wants to be around her maybe that would cheer her up to not take her own life

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One of my best friends overdosed on pills. Maybe it’s for the best you distance yourself. Stay strong.

I sadly had to kick my own mom out of my house cause I found her using. I explained addiction is a disease that not everyone overcomes. My mom sadly has used since before my oldest sister was born nearly 40 years ago

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Tell him you love him. You’re there for him. Just reassure him he has love

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That’s all you have to say " she’s sick" I had to do that over my son when he was active, I told my granddaughter he’s sick and when he’s better we will see him, I sympathize with you on every level, I wish you the best

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Not a stable environment for your son to be in. It is very hard when our parents are going through drug addiction and mental health issues. BUT you need to put your son first.

Be honest say Grandma is struggling and not making healthy choices. Then tell him she needs some time to get help and rest. Allow him to make cards, draw pictures or make cookies and send them to her. This will give him something to do when he misses her and may help her see she is loved.

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Awe . Just keep letting him know right know it must be so confusing. Just give him extra love and let him know when the time is right he will be able to see her. Have him make her pictures to help his missing her. Sorry you are going thru this. Hugs. I agree let there be distance between you and her. I work in mental health and I know it is such an emotional time for you. She has to want help for herself. You did the right thing and called the Ambulance. Is there away that she can be taken or called for an evaluation in your area. ? Her dr?? Just trying to give support. Hugs

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I would shy away from using the word “sick”. It can be confusing for kids because right now “sick” means that he can’t see Nonna for a while and maybe you’re emotional and he doesn’t understand why. So what about the next time you get a mild cold and you tell him you are “sick”. Will that mean he can’t see you for a while now? What about the next time he gets “sick”, what will it mean? I would be as honest as possible be very factual and detailed. “Nonna made a scary decision and took too much medicine, making her body react negatively. Now she’s not feeling like having company for a while. But she still loves you”.

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Be honest with him and give your mom time to heal . Continue to text her or even send pictures of him so she is reminded of him and when she is done being mad she can know regardless of her anger you still wanted her part of your sons life

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Until she is capable of self care she should not care for someone else, sometimes it takes a long time for people to get better like after surgery, her sickness didn’t happen overnight so it will not get better overnight either :heart:

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Tell him the truth! Nonna has a sickness in her brain, and it doesn’t go away as easily as a cold. Nonna needs lots of space to heal, and it isn’t anything he has done. She’s ok, but the illness is difficult to see, and no one wants him to see her like that. He will see her again one day! Just not soon.

Then if this somehow goes on longer you can finally tell him what the illness is when he is ready. That way you didn’t put too much on a kid, but you also didn’t lie to a kid.

Tell the truth as a kid I just wish people would be honest. Tell him grandma is sick and you are trying to help but she is scared and doesn’t relize she needs help. And when she gets better we will go visit together,but sadly never alone again for his safety.

My 3 older kids dad has mental health issues as well as addiction issues he choose not to see the kids idk why but to my kids it’s because there dad is sick and hes working on getting better when he is he will call or come…this has been going on for 6+ yrs as they get older and ask more question they get the Info they can u understand… she sick doesn’t need to be a short term answer.

Tell him to truth to his ability to understand

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You did the right thing the child would take it easier if you told him she is sick, rather than dead from an overdose.

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Just be honest with him and thankful that she didn’t do it while he was there.

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Don’t lie for her. She created this…tell him she has mental health issues and is not making good choices. Maybe reach out to support groups that have members that have been through the same thing. Telling him she is sick is going to cause worry in the child…and that is not fair.

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He is 7, please tell him the truth.

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idk maybe im a different kind of parent, but my daughter is also 7 and i dont shy away from anything from her… i would tell him whats going on with grandma. hes gonna find out eventually anyways….

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Give her time!! And I would just tell your son nanny’s head is poorly for the time being

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Tell him the truth. Lying to kids never turns out well . You dont have to go into great detail but at 7yo he’s old enough to understand that his nonna took too much medicine and needs help to make sure she doesn’t make the same mistake again
Let him keep contact…maybe call or write notes …I wouldnt let him visit. Its bound to be traumatic for him to see her like this
Hopefully there will come a day when he can see her again

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Just tell him that she isn’t well right now so we won’t be going to visit her for a while.

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She is sick in a way. Mentally not making good decisions. She’s confused with right and wrong. Medicine can do that. I hope your in touch with her Dr. All three of you need to talk about if she did it accidentally or on purpose. Tell her until she can talk to you he can’t see her. I’m sure she will talk to you. God bless. :pray::pray:

This may not be permanent. Your mom hit a rough spot. Give her time and space to heal. Revisit after a while before burning any bridges between her and your son if you think there is potential for a good relationship there.

Just tell him nana is sick and until she gets better he can’t see her

Honestly tell him the truth kids know more than we think about 6 months ago my mom passed and I didn’t tell my 7yr old about it but somehow he knew better to get it out in the open an talk to him about his feelings. Best of luck

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Had similar issues here. My sone was 8 at the time. We were honest. He is now ten

Tell him the truth. He’s old enough to understand.

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Be honest with him. Don’t sugarcoat it or beat around the bush. Then just be there for him.

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Just to clarify some things, she’s bipolar, manic depressive. She takes medication for it and sees her head doctor regularly. She’s narcissistic and throws everything you’ve ever done wrong in your face. She lets go of nothing. I’ve put groceries in her house to keep her from starving because I thought she was paying her bills, turns out, My grandmothers been paying them. She’s using my whole family for finances in some form and when someone says something, it’s everyone else’s fault. She draws disability along with her live in boyfriend. (Also an addict whom she stayed up all night the day of the OD fighting with) She’s been an addict my whole life. They had gotten clean when my son was born (which is why she’s been actively in his life.) I’m not sure when she fell off the wagon, but she’s back in the same shape she was in when I was in high school. I don’t want my son to live the same life I had to with her. I guess what I’m really asking is, does it get easier to deal with them being out of your life as time goes by? I should also add that my son has a developmental delay and processes things differently than we do. She’s been nothing but amazing to my son, where as my childhood was hell. I’m just scared she’s gonna OD with my son there.

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I probably wouldn’t mention suicide attempt. I would tell my daughter grandma is mentally ill and needs to get better before she can see her again.

That’s a whole can of worms. Tell him the truth and that it’s up to grandma to decide and we have to respect her choices.

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So my mom has been saying that she is going to kill herself my earliest memory is 8 years old. Tell him the truth. That way once you are allowed back and she has an episode he will be somewhat prepared for it.

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Only answer what your being asked

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I’m sorry that you are going through this. I’m sure she will get over herself and want to see your child and you. Keep your child innocent, say grandma has covid lol, but I would not touch the subject of suicide at this age. Honestly, nobody should have to at any age🙁 sending hugs

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It’s a good thing for him really. Hurt people hurt people. And she needs to get some help before she comes back around him

Just be as honest as you can at his age level.

Grandma is sick in a way that is hard to see. And she needs time to heal. There is no way to know how long it will take. But in the meantime, she needs to focus on fixing what is happening. And being around her wheb she isnt healed yet could hurt him too.

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Shes sick and shell get help. He doesn’t need to know more than that. He’s 7. He needs to be a kid. I’d be sorely disappointed in your mother for not thinking about how her actions affect others. Let her have it and let her know you “saved her friggin life!!”" (To quote). She needs to know she’s not in charge right now. You are!! Aka tough love

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Be honest to a degree the sick card really does only last so long. Just explain nanna has a lot of feelings and she needs time to work through them. However, confirm that it has nothing to do with him. Good luck mamas you did the right thing.

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Tell him the truth love sorry but ya she might be bipolar but so i am and iv also for bpd and never one since my kids was born choice to take me live when I get low I go listen to my music and block the world out ya I do have suicide throught then my kids come into my mind and they just drift away as I would never ever want my kids seeing this and knowing mummy didn’t love them enough to stay so ya I fight them and I’m always honest with my kids about needing space if I go to my room and I’m listening to music they know mummy need space and to go to dad for anything they need so please been honest with him that is nan is ill and she needs space x

This is my 2 cents…(teacher here) Kids are smarter and more resilient than you think… Tell him the truth… In terms age appropriate for him … “She has a mental illness and she is sick right now so she needs to get better until then you can’t go over there”
" She took to much medicine and had to go to the hospital and hopefully she will get better"
“She is not making good choices right now and needs some help” etc… And be there to really listen to his concerns and answer his questions… If you’re not honest with him now and God forbid she is successful next time ( and I pray there will not be a next time ) it will not be a complete shock for him and may be a little easier for him to understand… He loves her and she loves him so I believe he needs to know… Also I would not let him go without you… Use that to your advantage with your mom tell her
" if you want to see him I have to come because I can’t be sure that you will make the right choices while he is here with you… When you prove to me that you are past this stage again I will consider letting him come over again without me and it won’t happen overnight… until it is both of us or neither of us your choice mom!"
Hope this helps and I will be praying for you your son and you mom! I know you don’t know me but…If you need to talk or vent I am here just message me na do will listen and or pray with you! Best of luck!

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Tell him the truth, it’s easier then a lie cause by 9-10 he will work it out by himself, I’m a strong believer in honesty and this is also a great time to teach him about mental health and the struggles people face and kindness and understanding.

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tell him the truth, don’t sugar coat it. She’s sick. and her sickness is her own doing, and you can’t change that. I know someone still idolizing a mother who was hitting the crack pipe while pregnant with her, caused her a lifetime of disability post natal, and continued with her addict ways until she died from it. She was lied to, not told the truth about her mother, always told she was “in hospital” when in reality, she was in prison every time she went missing. The woman was a total piece of garbage.

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Sometimes grown ups make decisions that aren’t good for kids to be around.

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Just keep it at she’s sick and needs to get help. I’m surprised they didn’t keep her for the mandatory 3 days if it was intentional

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It honestly sounds like someone I wouldn’t want around my child. It’s sad and I understand how you never want to turn away from your mother but that is very, very negative behavior. Literally self destructive. I would be honest with my child.

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Thats her lose! She don’t like it too bad step up and b a positive grandparent, cant b a good grandparent screwed up on pills

Hopefully she will get help soon and begin to heal with you in her life.

You could try saying something like: Nonna is unwell, and she feels very sad. Because she wanted the sadness to go away she took too many tablets, which ment she had to go to hospital.

Nonna needs some time to herself to get better, but we will go and see her when Nonna says we can.

I

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Covid is all I can think of for the time being…could last as long as you need it to really., but I do understand the shatteredness he will feel for his nonna, and you mom♥️

Prayers for you. Prayers for her

Oh thats hard. My mom was on them hard for a long time and it was really hard and stressful on all of us. I’m sorry. I hope it gets better.

Nonna is sick, its the truth stick with that explanation, he’s only 7 too much adult information will only confuse him

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Tell him she’s sick and he’s not allowed to see her till he’s better. I had to keep my kids from my ex in laws and then their father because they were sick in the head. Eventually they stop asking and get used to the new normal. You have no choice really because letting him go there isn’t an option. Do not put your child in harms way because you’re afraid to hurt their feelings.

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Just keep telling him that she is sick, keep it simple

It’s not an excuse and Nonna is sick until Nonna gets mental health help. You can explain to him what happened and explain sick isn’t just a cold or flu our minds can be sick also and right now Nonna has a very sick mind.

Coming from someone in recovery myself, she’s sounds sick and that’s the truth of the matter so keep your boundaries and pray for her and hopefully in time she’ll get some help, in the meantime, I’d suggest some al-non meetings for you.

Go over any how. She was just angry. Let her know she was being selfish in not thinking of others. She should talk to a therapist. She needs help.

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As a recovering addict, 5 years 4 months clean, tell him the truth. He is old enough to understand. My oldest kids unfortunetly watched me through my addiction, but now they see my recovery. Kids are smart, and they would rather know the truth. They are so resilient to the throws of life. I’m sorry you’re having g to go through this.

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I told my mom she was never seeing my kids again because of drugs she over dosed that night. She loved my kids with all her heart. Find a common ground meet at a park or something place rules

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Explain that her sickness isn’t like the cold or stomach bug, and she needs time and lots of it. But how about he draw or write her a picture every day

You can mail them once a week

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That excuse is the truth and will last a lifetime. Keep your kid safe.

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Let him go over you wait close by it might help the both iasure nana wouldnt hurt him

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Be age appropriate but honest. My son is five and if it was me, I’d tell him "Nonna is sick. She doesn’t have an upset tummy or anything like that, but she is very confused on right from wrong and sometimes she does wrong things. Until Nonna can get better, do better, and understand right from wrong we cannot visit. It might take her a very long time to get better but I promise if she is all better, she will want us to visit. You just have to remember, just because we can’t visit her doesn’t mean she loves you any less. Nonna and mommy love you very much but Nonna needs some time alone to feel better.

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In traumatic times I would just keep my kids busy… If they asked…I just said it is just not a good time for grandma to have people over.

That excuse will work longer than you think. It’s the very excuse I’m still giving my almost 9 year old about why his dad disappeared on him and then subsequently died from an OD. I don’t feel he is old enough to understand and I don’t feel that’s something he should even have knowledge of.

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The excuse will last as long as you give it. I think saying she is sick is accurate. :heart:

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My mother went through something similar -

I told my daughters she was sick. as they got older I explained more age appropriate facts. The hardest part of kids not being aware of the “adult” issues is that they don’t get it. They don’t understand and they don’t see that family member through the same eyes. Be prepared for that.

You are doing the right thing. Allowing that sickness around kids normalizes it. My mom was raised that way and I was raised that way… cycle stopped with my kids.

We love addicts from a distance and NEVER condone it.

Addiction is tough. We can’t love them out of it. The only thing we can do is keep sight of our priorities, our children. That is ALL that matters.

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Confused. You mom said you were a snitch for what reason and if you’re not allowed there what does that have to do with your son?

Time to talk about addiction. And if this is the case mental illness. Be honest. And talk to him on his level such as Grandma is ill because she took too much of her medication and now she’s in the hospital trying to get better. Reassure him y’all love him. I had to explain something about my daughter’s Dad and she was about 7 yrs.old . I just tried to be honest and I talked in simple sentences and words. Good luck. Prayers for y’all.

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My mother is in a bad place, how do I help my son understand that? - Mamas Uncut

My son is 7 also, my mum is bipolar. I have explained this to him in simple terms. Sometimes nanny gets ill in her head, we can’t see it like a poorly arm etc but it makes her think and behave differently. When nanny’s head is bad she is not herself and does not want you to have to see or hear things that she doesn’t mean. Nanny loves you very much etc

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I have no direct experience with this but I’d be honest. Tell him nanny love him very much but she is sick. Explain she isn’t physically sick but mentally sick. Make it a good time to talk about mental health. Let him know he can’t visit right now because she needs to get treatment and that is going to take some time.

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Tell him the truth don’t make her look innocent in this she is so wrong for what she is doing to you and your son

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Tell him the truth. Anything else and it will come out when he’s older, not good for you. Or better yet, have your mom explain to him why. Even if she doesn’t, she will hopefully hear how ridiculous she sounds. Good luck.

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She’s sick.
My sons father has not seen him in 17 years because he’s a heroin addict. I tell my son, he loves him but he’s sick….
My mom overdosed on fentanyl.
I promise explaining why he can’t go is a lot easier than him finding her dead.

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Be truthful to the your son I know it’s hard and have to do it because in the long run he’s going to find out anyway and he’ll get angry at you for holding out so tell him the truth whether she likes it or not I don’t care tell her you’re telling your son she tried to kill herself and why you think it’s happening

Don’t lie to the kids tell him the truth

I would keep it at that and explain there are different kinds of sickness while being consistent in telling him she loves him but no visits are allowed until she is well again. As he grows he will understand and eventually see for himself the kind of person she is and you are by not bashing her name during all of this. Once her anger subsides she may reach out and request visits and if that happens I would tell her she is allowed a visit but at your home.

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You should be honest, tell him she is mad because you helped her and she didn’t want it, but she needed it. Similar to when a child is angry that they got disciplined. They don’t like it but they need it, to know right from wrong. He would understand that

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