Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Daughter in stalemate withholds grandchild visits

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Upset: I'm going to offer an alternate read of your question.

You move into your parents' house with your husband and two children.

Yes, they receive rent money from you, but they are more than landlords -- they are parents and grandparents, and they make room in their home and in their lives for you and your family during a period when you need it.

You announce that you are moving out, and your father gets upset. Yes, perhaps he will miss the rent money, but it's also possible that he will miss you. This news might have blindsided your parents, who reacted badly.

Did you ever thank your folks for opening their home to you? You don't say that you did. Instead, harsh words were exchanged all around.

In your version, your parents owe you an acknowledgment and apology, even though you and your father both exchanged harsh words. Did you acknowledge or apologize for your own behavior?

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You should not withhold contact with your daughter because you are mad at your folks. Your daughter has done nothing wrong, and your parents have not behaved badly toward her. The only legitimate reason to withhold contact would be if they undermined your parenting, or treated her badly (they've done neither).

If you want an explanation, acknowledgment and apology, perhaps you should prove your own maturity by offering one yourself. This might inspire some much-needed communication.

Dear Amy: My wife and I have always had dogs. We have a black lab now. We live in south Florida and love having visits from family members.

Unfortunately, we have reached the point that we can no longer welcome guests who bring their dogs.


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