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06/02/2009 02:30 AM

Assistance with Children of Bipolar Parent?

Posts: 4
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My sister is a single mother of a 10 year old and a 16 year old. She has been mentally unstable most of her life since she was a teen. She has wild mood swings, sleeps almost all day, has never worked, and struggles to manage with bare minimum responsibilities.

Recently she has been manic again and has been involved in a couple of violent altercations (not with her children). She called me 2 nights ago and "begged me" to take her son for the summer. She had come up with a crazy plan to sell her house (which she does not own) and move away with her daughter. My mom has stepped in to stop that "plan".

The son is a great kid despite growing up under those circumstances. He told me he wants to stay with us for the summer. We are discussing trying it for one month and if that works letting him stay the rest. Additional circumstance include that my sister has been selling pain killers and bringing drug addicts into their lives and his father who he has never been around is in prison for armed robberybut may be released later this summer.

I love this young man and want to bring him to our home but my husband is hesitant for good reasons. We both work a lot of hours, I go to school full-time with an aggressive schedule that will continue for another year and we are raising a happy healthy 6 year old. We're concerned about having enough time to help him. I'm trying to get him a free internship at my company and setting him up with a tutor for classes he is struggling with (he has ADHD). My husband also worries that he won't want to return to his mother at the end of the summer. I think it could be okay but I'm afraid that I'm naive and that I am going to bring a bunch of stress into my family and marriage that spins out of control. I've always kept my distance to maintain my own sanity in dealing with her.

He is a great kid but he is 16 and we do not have experience with teens. I'm also worried about his mother and little sister but I can't solve everything.

Advice? Encouragement? Warnings? Thanks for anything you can share.


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