Dear Amy: Our daughter and son-in-law got mad at us for not giving them some of their inheritance, and now they refuse to acknowledge gifts that we send to the grandkids.
We have sent Christmas and birthday gifts to them and they have always, in the past, acknowledged our gifts with a thank you text.
Now we don’t know whether or not the parents have given our grandchildren the gifts we have sent.
They haven’t spoken to us or answered texts in over four months.
Should we continue to send gifts to our grandchildren? They live 300 miles away. The kids are 10 and 12. The adults are in their 40s and have master’s degrees. They make good money and live in a $600,000 home. We are retired. — Generous Grandparents
Dear Grandparents: If these parents are deliberately punishing you in this way, then they are entitled offspring — and not very good parents.
No one should weaponize the relationship with the children to serve an agenda. The parents should not withhold a relationship between you and the kids, and you should not slink back in fear because they haven’t texted you.
I suggest that you call your daughter. If she doesn’t answer, leave a neutral message: “Hi, just checking in....” If you do speak with her, break the ice with some small talk: How is she doing? Are things OK? Is everybody healthy? How are the kids? Are they nearby? Do they want to say hi?
The message is, you consider the inheritance issue closed and are moving on. You gave them an answer they didn’t like, and they seem to want to sulk about it. If your daughter does bring it up, then talk things through calmly — without giving in.
They could have fancy degrees and an expensive house, and still be up to their ears in debt. But — it is not your duty to bail them out.
As a parent, your daughter must recognize that surely there are times when her own children ask for — or expect — things she can’t or won’t provide. Good parents occasionally say no, and you are saying no.
And yes — to answer your direct question, you should continue to send modest gifts and cards to the kids to mark these special days in their lives.
Dear Amy: I met a really charming guy. He is so lovely.
He has five kids with two women (three with one, and two with the other).
Doing the math, two of the kids are around six months apart, which means he will have had both women pregnant at the same time.
He says that I am different from the other women and that his exes are just crazy.
He is so great, although I know he led a double life with the other two women. Neither women knew this, for years.
His most recent ex says that even his family hid the other woman (with two kids and a baby on the way) while she was pregnant.
Ex #2 felt deceived by him and his whole family. She said that he would invent fights with her for no reason and then he would then storm out. Turns out he was going to his ex.
My boyfriend says she is crazy, that all of this is in her head and that he hates her.
I feel so sorry for him for what he has been through. So far, he has treated me like a princess and his family loves me.
Everyone has a past, right? Should I date him? — Conflicted
Dear Conflicted: Knowing what you know about this guy and how he deceives and leaves the women in his life, you can’t say you haven’t been warned. Here is the famous definition of insanity: “...insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
My own advice to you is to double-up on your birth control, and insist that he use a condom (to protect yourself from STDs). You should also prepare to be cheated on and then labeled “crazy” down the line.
Dear Amy: I was shocked at your heartless reply to “Frustrated Mom,” who wanted her mother to babysit for her one day a week.
Family members should take care of each other! — Upset
Dear Upset: Absolutely. And this particular grandmother was working as a real estate agent and also helping with other grandchildren.
One way for “Frustrated Mom” to take care of her family (which includes her mother) would be to respect the older woman’s limitations.