Grandma wants to see her grand­sons

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - AMY DICK­IN­SON

Dear Amy: I have four adult chil­dren and three grand­chil­dren. They all live 21/2 hours away and have very suc­cess­ful lives. My hus­band and I couldn’t be prouder. The prob­lem is our daugh­ter-in-law, who wants noth­ing to do with us. She is the mother of our only grand­chil­dren. She re­fuses to visit, es­pe­cially on the hol­i­days. When we visit, she is pleas­ant but seems to barely tol­er­ate us.

We want to see more of our grand­sons, but we are not per­mit­ted to babysit. If I ask to take them to the park, etc., she ig­nores me, hop­ing I will let it go (which I do to keep the peace).

I have spent many a sleep­less night try­ing to fig­ure out what I have done to her and can­not think of a thing.

Hon­estly, in the 10 years they have been mar­ried, I have never said a mean word or of­fered ad­vice, even with new ba­bies.

I say noth­ing to my son. I know he sees her treat­ment of us and feels guilty, but fight­ing about it isn’t worth it to him.

I agree that his wife has to come first, but we’re not sure if our other three chil­dren plan on hav­ing kids, so these may be our only grand­chil­dren.

The boys love to see us, and I have heard the old­est ask­ing if he can go home with Grandma and Grandpa. Mom al­ways says no!

We just came home from a visit, and it was worse than ever. I am de­pressed over the sit­u­a­tion and do not know what to do.

Anx­ious Grandma Anx­ious Grandma: You have kept silent to keep the peace, but this doesn’t re­ally seem like peace so much as a cold war. You have noth­ing to lose at this point, and so I hope you and your hus­band will be brave enough to have a con­ver­sa­tion with your son and daugh­ter-in-law, re­spect­fully ask­ing them whether there is a spe­cific rea­son they seem so hes­i­tant to let you play a larger role in the lives of their chil­dren.

You might want to draft an email where you say, “We no­tice that when it comes to the kids, you seem hes­i­tant about let­ting us spend very much alone time with them. We’d love to be more in­volved in their lives and hope you can help us to find ways to do that. If there is some­thing you think we need to do dif­fer­ently, please let us know. We are ab­so­lutely ba­nanas about the boys and want to be closer to all of you.”

You are try­ing. Good for you. Amy’s col­umn ap­pears seven days a week at wash­ing­ton­­vice. Write to askamy@amy­dick­in­ or Amy Dick­in­son, Tri­bune Con­tent Agency, 16650 West­grove Dr., Suite 175, Ad­di­son, Tex. 75001.  You can also fol­low her @ask­ingamy.

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