dear amy: When our son and his wife announced their pregnancy (our first grandchild), it was at an event held at his parents’ house.
After he announced that his mother was going to be a grandmother for the fourth time, he completely abandoned us and never mentioned us even though we were there.
Later we had a conversation with him. We told them that we were upset with how the announcement was made, but we understood that they did not intend to hurt us.
We told them to please keep in mind that their child will have two sets of grandparents.
They seemed really shocked and very sad. We forgave him, moved on and never mentioned this incident to anyone.
His mother became more distant and indifferent towards us. Looks like our daughter-in-law told this story to her mother.
A few months later, when the kids announced the baby’s name, it was again just a showcase for his parents. We were not accepted.
I must have looked hurt. Her parents turned on us, threatened us with violence, and called us narcissistic. They said very mean and dirty things and made fun of me to hurt me.
The mother told me that if I ever corrected her daughter again I would have to “pay a lot.” This happened in front of other people, who were just as shocked as my husband and I were.
Now they ignore us completely. We are no longer invited to family functions, which has changed the entire dynamic of both our families.
The important thing is that since the birth of the child, our son and daughter-in-law have been very inclusive. They have been very kind to us the whole time. I really feel like we’re closer than we were before, even though we never talked about what happened. We don’t want to put them in the middle.
I’m wondering if we should try to talk to his parents about this or should we just leave it at that?
– Became grandparents for the first time
Dear Grandparents: Congratulations to you and your son and daughter-in-law for handling this exclusion issue promptly and respectfully. It seems that your honesty and discretion have set this important relationship in a positive direction.
In terms of other in-laws, if you can think of a valid or urgent reason to risk their wrath, go ahead and move in. But avoiding rude and unstable people is a natural and protective instinct, and it is logical to stay clear of the consequences of their behavior toward you.
However, you might ask your daughter-in-law if she would like you to try to reach out to her parents for any reason. In my view, it’s not putting her in the middle of anything, but showing her that you are sensitive and respectful.
She might actually prefer to keep these bullies away from you, at least for now.
dear amy: This sounds trivial, but here goes. My granddaughter is 11 years old. She is adventurous and smart – precocious.
Recently, she stayed with my husband and me for a few days. It was really a lot of fun.
She was constantly using her phone to film things, including us (of course) and our pets. Harmless stuff and I didn’t mind at all.
Well, then I came to know that she was posting a lot of such videos on TikTok. I learned it because he showed us.
I was not happy about this at all – and I sat down with him and asked him to delete all the videos filmed at our house. I saw him doing this.
He is upset, and my husband disagrees with my choices. Neither of us can decide whether to tell his mother (our daughter) or not.
– Tiktok-ad closed
Dear TikTok-ed Off: You did the right thing. Your granddaughter needs to learn about privacy and consent.
She should also not have a TikTok account (until she is 13 years old).
Yes, you should talk to his parents. They might not even realize he has an account.
His daughter is old enough (and probably smart enough) to create and post a feature-length film. However, she is not old or mature enough to understand concepts like risk, privacy, and consent.
This is how she will learn.
Dear Amy: “Impatient Ida” says that her lover becomes silent in response to stress related to her or their relationship.
She should plan to experience this dynamic again and again (if she lives with him). It’s very frustrating to be involved with someone who withdraws when they get stuck in one of life’s common problems, and it undermines emotional intimacy. This is an early warning sign.
dear r: Absolutely.
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.
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