Should I stay in lives of ex’s kids?

Daily Press (Sunday) - - Puzzles - Dr. Jann Black­stone is the au­thor of “Ex-eti­quette for Par­ents.” Email her at dr.jann@ex­e­ti­quette.com

Q. My ex and I are both in our 60s. We were to­gether for12 years. I caught him in a lie (not cheat­ing) and he has ghosted me as a re­sult. He has two young grand­chil­dren, ages1and 3. I was in­volved in their lives and he in­sisted I be in­cluded as a true grand­par­ent. I have ex­am­ined my mo­tives and I would like to send the chil­dren a card and $50 for their birth­days — no Christ­mas mov­ing for­ward. I don’t an­tic­i­pate we will get back to­gether, and no, the par­ents of these grand­chil­dren have not reached out to me. What’s good ex-eti­quette?

A. You say your ex is ghost­ing you, which im­plies you were not mar­ried or liv­ing to­gether be­cause if you had been, you would sim­ply talk it through af­ter an ar­gu­ment, not text. There­fore, if you were not mar­ried or liv­ing to­gether, I ques­tion how in­volved you got with the kids.

You’ve said you have ex­am­ined your mo­tives but still want to send these chil­dren $50 each year for their birth­day. I would sug­gest you ex­am­ine your mo­tives again.

My an­swer might be dif­fer­ent if the chil­dren were older and you had cul­ti­vated a re­la­tion­ship with them. But the re­la­tion­ship you de­scribe has barely had the op­por­tu­nity to flour­ish, and if you re­ally see no pos­si­bil­ity of a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, why would you re­in­force con­tin­ued in­volve­ment with chil­dren you will never spend time with? Each birth­day they will re­ceive a gift of $50 from some­one they don’t know. Yes, each year that ges­ture may prompt a con­ver­sa­tion of “years ago grandpa dated this woman who sends you $50 for your birth­day,” but what’s the point?

You are say­ing you want to send money to chil­dren you barely know with­out the re­in­force­ment of their par­ents. It doesn’t sound like good ex­e­ti­quette to me.

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