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Talking to Granddaughter About Dirty Unsafe Apartment

My 21 year old daughter has a 11 month old baby. She is unmarried, but lives with the baby's dad. They live together in an apartment that is paid for by the dad's employer. She is a full time student except for in the summer.

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I went to visit her for the first time to deliver some of her bedroom furniture that she left behind and was shocked at what I saw. The aparment was filthy. It was in desperate need of vacuuming, the floors needed to be mopped, there were piles of stuff in random areas and the kitchen had dirty dishes, and the list goes on. She tells me her vacuum broke. It very well could have, but she doesn't use a lot of common sense and if I were to guess she tried to vacuum something that shouldn't be vacuumed. Her boyfriend has just gotten a $600 cell phone in the mail at the time I was over, but they didn't have a vacuum cleaner.

I ended up picked up tiny little pieces of broken glass, a bent up tab from a drink can and a penny from the floor. The coffee table had very sharp corners that were not covered from the baby. She protects the baby from smokers, although the baby's dad was smoking off to the side from the baby in the same area. The baby has allergies and she spends a lot of time at the doctor for him. He also has a eye disorder, in which, the doctors have told her that if he were to have a blow to his head, he could become blind.

I have been thinking about how to approach her in telling her to clean up her act (no pun intended), but I need to tell her in a delicate way. We have a good relationship, but I don't want her to keep her and the baby away from me because she may not like what I am saying to her.
How do I approach her so that I am very concerned, but not to embarrass her?

By Ledy from Shepherdsville, KY

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June 19, 20140 found this helpful

It won't do any good to talk to her. She will have to decide on her own that she has to grow up. I have an adult daughter that was the same way, until she got to being about 40 years. She wouldn't change the bags in the vacuum cleaner because they cost money and there were times she couldn't afford them, but she could afford cigarettes. Eventually the vacuum cleaner would be ruined. She always had dirty laundry laying around. She had four little kids and the oldest was ADHD and Asperger's Autism. Her youngest turned 18 in April. I don't know what made her change, and from some of the photos I see posted on facebook she still has a mess, I wouldn't let my adult kids take pictures until they moved some of the clutter.

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June 19, 20140 found this helpful

You need to sit down and have a heart to heart with her. Explain your concerns and offer to help. If social services saw that, she's going to be in a bad situation.

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June 20, 20140 found this helpful

She is a full time student with a small child. Maybe she could use some help. Try holding out the hand of love and friendship and help her get started. It may be that she is overwhelmed by all she has to do and just can't get started.

My mother never taught me how to clean house.I have 2 children with autism who I homeschool and just dealing with them is exhausting. I have a friend who is now teaching me how to clean and organize my home and I am so grateful that I will never be able to thank her enough.

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June 20, 20140 found this helpful

I think that helping to clean the place will do a lot more good than having a heart to heart. Are you the mom or the grandmother? If you are the mom, did you teach your daughter how to clean or did you do all of it for her till she moved out?

Perhaps she doesn't really know how to look after a house. But, whatever, if she needs a new vacuum, why don't you gift her with one - could be a birthday present - or you could likely get one at a garage sale, if you don't have a lot of money. When you go to visit, offer to help clean up on that visit. Say something like - let's get these dishes out of the way, and then I'll vacuum while you put away things.

It is also possible that the boyfriend does nothing whatsoever to clean or cook or anything else, so you could chat with your daughter about getting him to do his share as well. He doesn't sound very mature if he has a $600 cell phone and they can't afford a new vacuum cleaner. Actions speak much louder than words. Help with the work will go much farther than having a heart to heart.

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June 20, 20140 found this helpful

You might just have to tell her to clean it or you will report it. Tell her you will help her clean it the first time only. Then, follow through.

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