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Ask Dr. Malyshka vs. Ask Dr. Laura: My daughter is a huge huge slut, do I have to babysit her kid?

True story. I’m a doctor. Not the kind that’s qualified to give professional advice, but if Dr. Laura can do it in good conscience, so then can I.

The following is taken from Dr. Laura’s website, a transcript of a recent call:

“Our daughter is a single, divorced mom of a three-year-old, she’s still living at home with us while she attends college. She takes very good care of her child, but she likes to act like a 19-year-old instead of a 25-year-old in terms of friends, partying and going out with men.  How much babysitting should we do for her?  She seems to think we can babysit anytime because we are home and she can put her child to bed and then go out and roam.”

Advice from Dr. Laura:  “Ok, I’m going to say it straight out: your daughter is an immature, self-centered jerk. However, this three-year-old is a innocent child. So, your daughter’s going to go out and do her skuzzy behavior. Your job as a grandma, which I would consider my job as a grandma, is to rescue and protect my grandchild.  I would not complain about taking care of my grandchild any day or night, especially when I know that the parent in charge is not acting as a parent in charge. Sorry about your daughter, there’s not much you can do about her, but don’t let her leave with the kid. Keep her “kissy kissy” so that you can be the one to rescue and take care of this innocent, dependent little kid. If not, just send the kid to my house.”

Advice from Dr. Malyshka: Let me make sure I understand correctly. Your daughter is leaving her child with you, asleep, and going out? I can understand being concerned about taking on too much responsibility, but from what I see, you are already at home, the child is already in bed, and she leaves while you watch TV or read the news or talk to your friends on the phone, just like you would if your daughter were also home?

Being a single mother, especially while attending college, is difficult. Your daughter is going to crave time to herself, and she is going to need to blow off steam. She is incredibly lucky to have supportive parents with whom she trusts her child, and it is wonderful that you have offered to let her live with you during this time. She’s taking steps right now, with your help, to ensure a better future for her and her child.

That said, you have every right to impose limits on the amount of babysitting that you do. She is living in your house, leaning on you for support, and taking advantage of your good nature. Decide on the guidelines that you think are fair, and at a time when nobody is emotional (so, for example, after lunch on a Tuesday, but not as she is breezing out the door on a Friday night), sit her down and talk to her about it. She may have some concerns of her own. She may not be willing to listen to you, and she may think you are imposing unfair restrictions on her. In the end, though, setting limits and communicating them will make your relationship with your daughter stronger, and help to set the tone for future interactions with both her and her child.

Oh, and a final bit of advice: if you are considering asking Dr. Laura for advice, please, resist the urge. She is judgmental and mean-spirited, and while she is advocating writing your daughter off for her “skuzzy” behavior, the only thing that will come of this is a spiral of disrespect from both parties, and a tense living arrangement for your grandchild.

By Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

19 replies on “Ask Dr. Malyshka vs. Ask Dr. Laura: My daughter is a huge huge slut, do I have to babysit her kid?”

You’re advice is fantastic.

Dr. Laura: TAKE A HIKE.

I think setting boundaries is important in any relationship and I’ve been trying to think of good ways to approach my mom about setting some. (I’m almost 22 and she treats me like I’m 12 or so). Love the advice of “lunch on a Tuesday afternoon.” I may try that.

I was trying to think – why would anybody write to her? And I think that it’s because people subscribe to her belief system, and want validation that they are not mean, judgmental people. But when you get that kind of validation from a mean, judgmental person, it’s not worth much.

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