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Teenage Granddaughter Running with the Wrong Crowd


I am a grandparent with much concern for my granddaughter. Her mother tries hard, but my granddaughter has been hanging around with the wrong crowd. She was caught smoking pot, got suspended and again today she has apparently been kicked out of the school she attends. We just don't know where to go for help or what to do.



It's apparent that your granddaughter's behaviors are frustrating you, and you want them desperately to change. Even as you and her mother strive to do the best you can to keep her on the right track, the influence of peers can be overwhelming, making your efforts difficult. It is possible that her behaviors can be turned around, but it will take some time and patience.

Often times, ​teens do not want to talk to their parents or other family members about what they're going through but will open up with someone neutral, like a counselor. What discipline strategies have you tried already? Does your granddaughter understand the severity of her behaviors and how they might impact her future? Though some of this understanding will come from her counselor, it will be important for you and her mom to reinforce the same information.

In addition to counseling she is getting, developing a strong system of expectations should be established. It is never too late to do this with your granddaughter. Even though you are not her mother, you can still play an important part in this process by reinforcing the guidelines that are set for her. The consequences should be things that are easy for her mom initiate and for you to reinforce. They should also be meaningful to your granddaughter and be issued immediately. Stand firm on the consequences set regardless of quick improvement. Quick improvements are most likely manipulative behaviors to get back privileges she lost. It will be challenging at first, but once you both are able to see them through, you may notice significant improvement in your granddaughter's behavior.