Ask Amy: Grown children drift away. How do I handle family events? | Jobs Reply


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Dear Amy: I have three 30-year-old children. My oldest son (#1) and my middle daughter have been very angry together for over a year.

I think my daughter is maybe 70 percent responsible and son 1 30 percent.No one will admit fault or apologize. They don’t want to be in front of each other. Nothing my wife or I do helps.

Son 1 and his wife are having their first child in four months, and so far, he says we can’t have our daughter.

We organize birthdays and holidays at our house. I say invite everyone and if they don’t want to come, so be it.

2. Son (who is not involved in this drama) is celebrating his birthday, which we will celebrate at our house. 1. Son will not come because our daughter is going, but 2. He wants to organize an event after son (daughter will not be invited).

Something similar seems to be proposed for Christmas.

I am not interested in enabling this mess by having my daughter go to secondary events that she is not invited to or by declining the invitation. I want to tell my daughter about the birth of our first grandchild because it’s a family matter.

My wife is more interested in 1. Son doing what he wants. Part of this is because he lives a block from us, and my wife doesn’t want him to take his anger out on us for not being around their child. (He hasn’t threatened this, but he’s nervous.)

father: I’m with you on this one. You present Son #1 as the number one force in perpetuating this healthy dynamic, and if that’s true, I’d say he’s quickly closing the gap with his sister.

I’m so sorry your family is going through this. The estrangement (and now the threat of it) between family members seems to be on the rise, at least judging by the contents of my (virtual) mailbag.

You may seem worried but firm, but your wife’s fear will only allow your eldest son to squeeze his hand and manipulate and control the whole family. This nonsense that doesn’t tell you about the next birth of your grandchild is…ridiculous. He doesn’t seem old enough to be a father.

As for your wife, I suggest you both keep this in mind: whenever you make a decision based on fear, the outcome will not benefit anyone.

You must convey to all your children (through your actions or words): “We will continue to organize events at home. As before, everyone in the family is always invited and welcome. Come, don’t come, it’s up to you. But I won’t go to several events, because my children have decided to prolong a debate that should have been resolved a long time ago.’

Dear Amy: I am blessed with two beautiful and sweet daughters. Both are college graduates living on their own in long-term relationships.

My daughter has chosen two very different careers: one makes VERY good money, while her sister struggles to pay the monthly bills.

Is it okay to help a struggling daughter? Will the other daughter feel slighted? I don’t want to cause trouble.

mother: Yes, it’s okay to help a struggling daughter. Being in a financial bind is very stressful; help can give someone a breather, even a fresh start. Unfortunately, however, repeated rescues could halt its progress.

Your daughter may need to check her expenses, get another job (or choose another partner) to live within her means.

If you help one daughter, the other daughter will feel slighted, but there is also a lesson here: life is not always fair.

The chosen path and hard work have literally paid off. Surely, he wouldn’t have it any other way. He will face many challenges in his future, and as his mother, you too will do your best to be with him.

You don’t have to justify your financial choices to anyone, unless those choices put you or others at risk.

Dear Amy: “Tree Owner” he asked about the big tree in his yard, because every fall it sheds its leaves into the neighbor’s yard.

As we gather leaves and pods from our neighbor’s tree every fall, we remind ourselves what a gift the shade was all summer.

Neighbor: That’s the spirit!

©2022 Author Amy Dickinson Distributed by Tribune Content Agency



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