DEAR ABBY: My 18-year-old granddaughter ran away twice last year. She's now living with her boyfriend and refuses to have any contact with her dad. I know my son is very strict, and I'm pretty sure she could just no longer live by his rules. Her mom passed away eight months ago, and my son is all she has besides her sister.
She opened a Facebook page. I was able to write to her a couple of times and she responded. She isn't answering my messages now. I suspect her boyfriend is controlling and is preventing her from contacting her family. I'm also afraid she may be involved with drugs now. She and the boyfriend were recently arrested for shoplifting, and this just isn't typical of my granddaughter.
I have trouble sleeping at night worrying about her. I know she's an adult, but I don't want her to give up on her family who loves her. Do you have any suggestions? Should I go to the house and try and see her, or must we just sit back and wait for her to grow up? Any advice will be appreciated. -- WORRIED NANA
DEAR WORRIED NANA: Do not just sit back. By all means, visit your granddaughter! She needs to know you love her and will be supportive if things don't work out with her boyfriend.
Because she's 18 and now considered an adult, you can't force her to reunite with her father, whose heavy-handed parenting may or may not be the reason she left home. But you can, however, point out that if she needs something, there are better ways to go about acquiring it than shoplifting. You should also encourage her to find a job. If she does, it will increase her independence, not only from her father, but also her boyfriend, if it becomes necessary.