I worry agoraphobic daughter-in-law will make grandkids nervous wrecks

DEAR DEIDRE: MY daughter-in-law won’t leave her house.

I’m worried her anxiety is rubbing off on my grandchildren.


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My son separated from his partner three years ago. They have two boys, aged seven and nine, who live with their mum.

She’s very anxious. Last week she rang an ambulance because she was convinced her eldest was having a brain haemorrhage.

It turned out to be just a headache.

I think she is agoraphobic too. She won’t leave the house and relies heavily on me and her son.

We do her weekly shop for her and take the children to school.

But now the kids are reluctant to go outside and only leave the house when my son makes them.

They hardly ever interact with youngters their age.

I can’t think what else to do but call social services.

Otherwise I’m worried they will grow up to be nervous wrecks – just like their mum.

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DEIDRE SAYS: It does sound as if your daughter-in-law and grandchildren need urgent help

. Encourage your son to contact her doctor and ask for someone to visit.

You can also find help through Mind (mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393).

The children need some urgent attention too. It may be better for your son to have custody, even if it is only temporarily, so your daughter-in-law can get better.

He can find help through the NSPCC (nspcc.org.uk, tel 0808 800 5000).

Keep doing everything you can for them – it sounds like you are really making a positive difference.

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