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Ask Marilyn: This Week's 'Strictly Personal' Question

Anonymous writes:

Marilyn: I am at my wit's end. My daughter married a man who has three grown children. She and her husband have no children themselves and do not intend to have any. Recently, I was informed that I am expected to treat these children as if they were my own grandchildren. I do not know them personally and have seen them only on a few special occasions. We don't even live in the same town.

I was at a loss for words when I was told this. I have several grandchildren from another daughter, and I naturally have different feelings for these children as I helped raise them. I do not mind buying a gift for the new family members if we're going to be together for a holiday such as Christmas, but I have recently found out that much more is expected. I was even given a list of their birthdays and wedding anniversaries. (They are married.) If we had time, perhaps we could develop a relationship, but this has been thrust upon me, and I do not know how to handle it. What do you advise?

Marilyn responds:

Your daughter has overreached, but as her goal is a positive one, I suggest that you not tell her that. Instead, just privately shake your head at her naivete, listen politely and attentively to what she wants, and tell her that you'll be happy to follow through when it feels appropriate. And then do that! Meaning: Don't do anything more until and unless it feels right.




Ask Marilyn: This Week's 'Strictly Personal' Question
 
 
 
 
 

 

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